South African opposition party calls for probe into new 24-hour television channel

Johannesburg, South Africa (PANA) – South Africa's opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Wednesday raised concerns over the selection of Newzroom Afrika as the winning bidder to broadcast a new 24-hour television channel in the country.

The opening was created after the previous channels African News Network (ANN) lost its platform after becoming embroiled in the state capture scandal which implicated former President Jacob Zuma.

The party said it would write to MultiChoice – the holding company – to demand that all of the bid and adjudication processes be made public.

“We have it on good authority that the chosen company was not the best of those who responded to the bid‚” said EFF leader Julius Malema.

He said MultiChoice must be called to Parliament to account for the selection and “many other processes including their illegal and unlawful monopoly position”.

“We make this demand because when they made a public call for public submissions for black owned media broadcasters to bid for a new channel‚ we all legitimately expected that the best black owned company will be chosen,” he added.

MultiChoice which announced the winning bidder – out of 100 applications – on Tuesday, said it had decided to keep details of the selection process confidential.

The directors of the new channel which will launch next year are Thokozane Nkosi and Thobile Ngwato. Former press ombudsman Joe Tlholoe will be on the ethics oversight board while veteran journalist Malebo Phage will lead the channel’s newsroom.
-0- PANA CU/MA 29Aug2018

29 Agosto 2018 11:46:40

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