Journalists probed following extortion claims

2016-01-25 13:53
Chief Livhuwani Matsila. (Armando Chikhudo, City Press)

Chief Livhuwani Matsila. (Armando Chikhudo, City Press)

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Johannesburg - The Hawks on Monday confirmed that they have handed over a docket to the National Prosecuting Authority regarding a probe into allegations that Sunday World and SABC journalists tried to solicit money from Venda chief, Livhuwani Matsila, in exchange for quashing a story.

"We have handed over the docket to them. They will decide on how to proceed with the matter," said Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi.

He said it could take about two days for a final decision to be made.

City Press on Sunday reported that the SABC TV host approached Matsila following the death of his 18-month-old son with actress Florence Masebe in a drowning accident last year.

Matsila and Masebe were reported to have had an affair.

- Read: Chief targeted by journos for extortion

The TV host reportedly informed the chief that a Sunday World reporter was working on a follow-up story which would expose that he had fathered yet another child during an affair with another woman.

Matsila said the host advised him to make an offer to the Sunday World reporter. Matsila first offered the journalist R4 000, which the TV host dismissed as too little. He doubled the offer, but it was also refused.

The TV host reportedly forwarded an SMS from the Sunday World reporter to the chief in which the tabloid reporter allegedly stated that the chief should up his price as he had just received R100 000 from a minister to quash a story.

Matsila told the City Press that he then offered the reporter R60 000. He later spoke to his friends who advised him to open an extortion case, which he did.

On the day the money was to be handed over, the SABC journalist said he was unavailable and instead sent a driver to pick up the money.

The driver was arrested and subsequently gave police a statement. The two reporters implicated have also given statements to the Hawks.

Read more on:    polokwane  |  media

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