Critics of a policy supporting unencrypted set-top boxes argue that would-be rivals of MultiChoice can only compete with the latter's DStv service if government enforces the roll-out of encrypted devices.
In December 2013, then-communications minister Yunus Carrim published proposed amendments to government's digital migration policy that opened the door for encrypted set-top boxes.
But Carrim would not have the last say on the matter.
MultiChoice fingerprints in the #GuptaLeaks
After having created the separate departments of communications and telecommunications in May 2014, Zuma issued a presidential proclamation that transferred certain regulatory powers from Muthambi to Siyabonga Cwele, the then-telecommunications minister.
On July 18 2014, only three days after the proclamation was published in the government gazette, Muthambi sent an email to known Gupta associate Ashu Chawla. She attached the government gazette containing the proclamation.
Minutes later, Muthambi again emailed Chawla, this time attaching a Microsoft Word document titled "Effect of presidential proclamation". The document was forwarded by Chawla to Tony Gupta on the same day.
The document's metadata reveals that its creator was Clarissa Mack, MultiChoice's then-group executive for regulatory and policy affairs. Mack created the document on July 17, the day before Muthambi forwarded it to Chawla. Mack was also the last person to have modified the file.
Mack wrote that when Zuma created the two departments, there was an "assumption … that broadcasting including digital migration would report to the Minister of Communications".
"The proclamation published on 15 July 2014 did not give effect to this division," complained Mack. She also made detailed suggestions with regards to how the relevant decision-making powers should be split between Muthambi's and Cwele's departments.