File picture: Karen Sandison/Independent Media

Johannesburg - South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) acting group CEO Nomsa Philiso said selling interviews was "certainly not a normal practice".

This was in a response to a tweet by DA spokesperson, Phumzile Van Damme, who called on Philiso to explain the matter.

"The SABC cannot give paid-for airtime for fluff pieces for politicians without informing the public that what they are watching is, in essence, an advertisement," tweeted Van Damme.

Read more: 'Dlamini must account for alleged R500k paid to SABC for interview'

On Wednesday, reports emerged that the Department of Social Development had paid the SABC half a million rand to do a two-hour interview with Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini. 

The interview was conducted by Anele Mdoda, host of the SABC 3 Real Talk with Anele.

Philiso vowed to look into the matter after she said a preliminary investigation confirmed that the Department of Social Development paid for the interview.

The Democratic Alliance has slammed the findings and the party's Shadow Minister of Social Development Bridget Masango called on Dlamini to personally pay back the money if there was any truth to the allegations.

Dlamini's spokesperson, Lumka Oliphant, said in an interview that the money was transferred by the Government Communication and Information System to do the media buying and said that the money was paid to SABC and not to Anele Mdoda.