The Social Development Department insists that there is nothing unique about paying the SABC to host ministers in a bid to boost their profiles.
This follows claims that Minister Bathabile Dlamini paid the SABC R500 000 to host her for an interview on the SABC 3 show Real Talk With Anele.
But the department maintains that only R150 000 was transferred to the broadcaster.
The controversial transaction has undermined the credibility of the public broadcaster and the talk show in question, says Wits Journalism head Prof Franz Krüger.
Some of the public have expressed anger over the use of taxpayer money to secure an interview with the minister last month.
Krüger says the viewers were not told that the interview was paid for and has likened the interview to an advertorial (an advertisement in the form of editorial content).
He says paying for interviews is deeply problematic and blurs the independence of the media outlet - particularly when interviewing politicians.
Krüger warns that the SABC needs to establish internal process to manage their editorial independence.
The moment money has changed hands the credibility of that interview is dramatically undermined.— Prof Franz Krüger, Wits Journalism head
You're not going to ask hard questions for someone who is paying for their presence on your show - particularly when it is a controversial minister like in this case.— Prof Franz Krüger, Wits Journalism head
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This article first appeared on CapeTalk : SABC's credibility undermined by 'shady' gov interview deal, says veteran journo