Zuma Attempted to Get Kickbacks from SA’s Digital Migration, New Set-Top Boxes

Mxolisi allegedly tried to broker a bribe with Altech UEC, a subsidiary of technology giant Altron.

Mxolisi Saady Zuma has been accused of trying to broker a R54-million bribe to use his father’s influence to swing a multibillion-rand TV set-top box (STBs) contract, according to the Sunday Times.

The country is migrating from analogue to digital terrestrial TV and the decoder will be necessary for homes to receive signals.

SA has been planning for digital migration since 2008. The initial deadline, as determined by the International Telecommunication Union, was June 17, 2015, but South Africa missed that deadline.

The South African government has committed to giving five million subsidised STBs to poor TV-owning households.

The Universal Service and Access Agency of SA (USAASA) is the agency which has been charged with the responsibility of managing the production and installation of STBs.

According to the Sunday Times Mxolisi allegedly tried to broker a bribe with Altech UEC, a subsidiary of technology giant Altron, to help the company secure a multibillion-rand TV set-top box contract.

Two executives in the company told the Sunday Times this week that Altech had planned to bribe Mxolisi.

The newspaper said according to e-mails between executives of Altech UEC reveal that the R54-million fee for Mxolisi was discussed in March 2015.

In the e-mails, which the Sunday Times has seen, Mxolisi is referred to as SZ.

Former Altech MD Danie du Toit wrote an e-mail on March 16, 2015 to former chief operating officer Laurence Savage, saying: “Unconfirmed but strong rumours that UEC will be awarded 6m of the total allocation of which 4m in the next 12 months. Order expected from 20 March. Question, do we still sign up SZ? R54m + in fees. We achieved without his support.”

For more read: Another Zuma son accused of ‘seeking bribe’ to clinch deal


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