It has emerged that the Department of Communication (DoC) blew almost R1 million on a single Gupta media breakfast briefing. Now, South Africa’s official opposition party – Democratic Alliance (DA) – is agitating for a boycott of all Gupta-owned media outlet.
As revealed, Doc spent close to R1 million on a single Gupta-media breakfast briefing in May 2016. This revelation was confirmed by a reply to the DA’s parliamentary questions.
The reply to the questions, as offered by Ayanda Dlodlo, the Communication Minister affirmed that the communication department precisely spent R988 689.84 on a single business breakfast briefing held on 26 May 2016.
Dlodlo also specified that the luxury meeting was held by The New Age, a Gupta-owned newspaper.
Wailing over the revelation, DA asserted that it’s no secret “the Gupta-owned TNA, is propped up by the millions it receives from government departments and state-owned companies that sponsor its breakfast briefings, buy bulk copies of its newspaper, and spend disproportionally on adverts in the newspaper.”
The party cited recent examples as highlighted below:
- The Free State Provincial Government last year, spent more than R4 million on TNA, as revealed by the Nielsen report released earlier this year;
- Last year, the SABC spent almost R1 million on subscriptions to TNA; and
- In 2015, the Communications Department spent R10 million on advertising in the same paper.
With the above, DA contended that it’s no longer conscionable to fund the propaganda of Gupta-owned media. According to the party, it’s clear TNA and ANN7 are “Gupta and pro-Zuma propaganda mouthpieces, surviving on the hard-earned rands of South Africa’s taxpayers.”
Stressing that all Gupta-owned media are mouthpieces defending the capture of South Africa, DA called on South Africans to “discern the fake Gupta news from real news.”
The party also warned that consuming Gupta Media contents is tantamount to falling prey to propaganda.
“As the Gupta Media continues to spew fake news aimed at defending one family, our captured ANC government props them up. This is direct patronage back to the Guptas in the symbiotic relationship they share with the ANC government.
“Since the Gupta email scandal began last Sunday, ANN7 and TNA has done everything to deflect and distract the public from the truth. They have attacked everyone who has spoken out against the Gupta capture of the ANC,” DA stated.
Thereafter, the party charged that it cannot allow the Guptas’ propaganda to bring the credibility of media into question in the country.
“Hardworking and dedicated journalist and staff at both Gupta media houses are being abused by the corrupted political agendas of the ANC and the Guptas.
“The DA stands in solidarity with these journalists and staff who report with integrity, but are under enormous political pressure.
“It is time to stop giving the New Age and ANN7 the time of day, and see them for what they are: The Guptas’ own Closed Circuit Television. It is time to stop all funding of ANN7 and The New Age, to put a stop to the Guptas propaganda campaign,” DA clamoured.