The new set-top boxes would "not have capabilities to encrypt broadcast signals," declared a clause Muthambi inserted in the amendment.

Only two months before, at the ANC's January lekgotla, the ruling party stated that it supported Carrim's December 2013 policy, which had paved the way for encrypted set-top boxes.

In her response to News24, Muthambi admitted that she had received "submissions" from MultiChoice "sent … through Ms Mack". But Muthambi says that she had "opened the door" for such submissions after the July 2014 proclamation caused "confusion and uncertainty" over which of the two departments would be responsible for broadcasting policy.

"The minister denies having been influenced by any person in the finalisation of the digital migration policy after consideration of all submissions by all interested parties…" Muthambi's spokesperson said in a statement.

MultiChoice also said that it was one of "several stakeholders" who made submissions to the minister. Neither MultiChoice nor the minister indicated which other parties, apart from MultiChoice, made submissions to her office.

Muthambi also failed to address News24's detailed queries about the emails she had sent to Chawla.

ANN7's MultiChoice bonanza

On December 4 2014, about a week after Zuma transferred the relevant broadcasting policy powers to Muthambi, Howa sent Tony Gupta a draft "third channel amendment agreement" for the deal between MultiChoice and Infinity.

This is the unsigned document that recently surfaced in the media.

The signed "fourth channel amendment agreement", however, reveals that MultiChoice first agreed to increase the ANN7 fee to R100-million per annum, before ultimately settling on an amount of R141-million.

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