SABC breached its own editorial policies over paid Bathabile Dlamini interview

2018-01-19 12:10
Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini. (Screengrab via YouTube)

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini. (Screengrab via YouTube)

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Johannesburg – The board of the SABC has determined that the broadcaster breached its own policies and practices over a paid interview with Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, and would not be accepting the money.

The board said in a statement that its news and editorial committee met and considered the payment of R149 000, which had yet to be received from the department, for the interview broadcast on December 7 and 8, 2017, on Real Talk with Anele.

ALSO READ: Pay back the money - EFF slams Dlamini's paid SABC interview

The board reached the conclusion that the "SABC did not comply with its own editorial policies on sponsorship of programmes, which requires that the sponsor’s association with the programme has to be stated clearly, both before and after the programme. In this case, this was not done".

"The SABC does not charge for interviews, and this was a breach of organisational practice. We do solicit sponsorship for programmes where it is part of a marketing campaign to communicate a departmental or other client programmes or policies."

It said there was a breakdown in "internal controls and processes", with regard to the interview.

The broadcaster would now ensure that there would be no "grey areas" with respect to the sponsorship of programmes.

'Journalistic integrity'

"The SABC will soon publish the new draft Editorial Policy for further public comment."

Management would also inform the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) that it would not be invoicing for the R149 000, which was to be paid for the interview.

Initial media reports put the amount at R500 000, however the balance was for production costs and paid directly to the production company involved in the field work. 

"The SABC takes full responsibility for these lapses and breaches in editorial control, and wishes to communicate that the presenter and production company of Real Talk with Anele acted based on SABC’s instructions," it said.

ALSO READ: Bathabile Dlamini dodges journalists over paid SABC interview

"The SABC news and current affairs division was in no way involved in this matter. We assure the public that our news and current affairs division adheres to our policy of journalistic integrity and editorial independence."

In an interview with Radio 702's Bongani Bingwa on Thursday morning, Dlamini's spokesperson Lumka Oliphant said the department had transferred more than R5m to the public broadcaster, through the GCIS.

"We had a clean audit. No one is interested in writing about Bathabile Dlamini, who had five consecutive clean audits. So, what do I do? I buy space. I buy space here so people can know what we are doing.

"No matter how many times, for instance, we say she doesn’t drink, people say she drinks," Oliphant said.

Read more on:    sabc  |  bathabile dlamini  |  johannesburg  |  media

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