Ajay and Atul Gupta. File photo
Johannesburg – The DA on Tuesday called for a boycott of all Gupta owned media in South Africa.

"The Department of Communication spent close to R1 million on a single Gupta-media breakfast briefing in May last year, a reply to DA parliamentary questions has revealed," DA communications spokesperson Phumzile van Damme said in a statement.

Van Damme said in response the Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo confirmed that the Department had spent R988,689.84 on a single business breakfast briefing which was held on May 26, 2016 organised by Gupta-owned newspaper, The New Age (TNA).

"It is not a 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 in bulk copies of its newspaper, and spend disproportionately on adverts in the newspaper."

Van Damme listed a number of recent examples which included the Free State Provincial Government spending more than R4 million on TNA in 2016, the SABC spending almost R1 million on subscriptions to TNA as well as the Communications Department spending R10 million on advertising in the same paper in 2015.

"Over the last few months, it has become patently clear that not only TNA, but also ANN7, are nothing more than Gupta and pro-Zuma propaganda mouthpieces, surviving on the hard-earned rands of South Africa’s taxpayers. It is no longer conscionable to fund this propaganda," she said.

"We call on South Africans to see all Gupta-media for what it is: Gupta mouthpieces defending the capture of our state."

Van Damme called on South Africans to discern the "fake Gupta news" from real news and caution South Africans that consuming Gupta Media risks falling prey to propaganda.

"As the “Gupta Media” continues to spew fake news aimed at defending one family, our captured [African National Congress] ANC government props them up. This is direct patronage back to the Guptas in the symbiotic relationship they share with the ANC government," van Damme said.

"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."

She said South Africans could not allow the Guptas propaganda to bring the credibility of the media into question.

"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," said van Damme.