SUNDAY TIMES - Hlaudi out to plug SABC leaks with 'R100, 000 reward'
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Sunday Times News By SIBONGAKONKE SHOBA, 2016-02-21

Hlaudi out to plug SABC leaks with 'R100, 000 reward'

SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng is on the hunt for media moles
Image: Daylin Paul

The SABC is clamping down on staff who leak confidential information to the media amid claims that chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng is offering R100, 000 rewards to anyone who exposes moles.

In an interview this week, Motsoeneng denied that he had offered such a reward - then warned that the public broadcaster intended to investigate and shame media houses that reported negatively on the SABC.

He confirmed that an executive decision had been taken to deal with people who leak internal SABC information.

Senior SABC editors revealed this week that Motsoeneng had announced the reward incentive during a recent management meeting.

When the Sunday Times team arrived for a scheduled interview in Motsoeneng's 27th floor office in Radio Park, acting CEO Jimi Matthews, chief financial officer James Aguma and spokesman Kaizer Kganyago joined the meeting.

While Motsoeneng laughed when asked about the R100, 000 reward, it was Matthews who chose to respond.

"I am afraid you have been misinformed. There is absolutely no way that we in the SABC can offer a reward of that magnitude to anyone," he said. "Unless the COO has deep pockets and has got R100, 000 in his back pocket. But it can't be an SABC thing."

Motsoeneng confirmed that the executive had taken a decision to crack the whip on employees who shared internal SABC information with other media organisations: "At the SABC we have a policy to deal with the leaking of information."

He said from now on it was going to be tit for tat. "That is what we are going to do. You investigate the SABC, well done, we are going to do the same to you," he said, grinning .

"Maybe it's time for SABC to investigate all media houses. I know some of the media houses don't even allow the unions within their stable."

He claimed to know many "horrible" stories about journalists' working conditions at other media houses.