Suspended SABC news boss Snuki Zikalala will be reinstated today after almost two months on the sidelines, writes Thabo Mkhize in The Times.

Zikalala returns to the influential position at the public broadcaster on the day he was scheduled to attend a hearing of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration on his suspension.

The Times’ sources have confirmed that the SABC board took the decision to reinstate the powerful head of news at a meeting on Friday.

Attempts to get comments from the board were unsuccessful.

The decision counters Zikalala’s axing by now suspended SABC CEO Dali Mpofu, who accused him of leaking documents.

Zikalala challenged his suspension, arguing that it was unfair labour practice. His claim was strengthened by SABC board chairman Kanyisiwe Mkonza, who described the suspension as invalid and unlawful.

Mkonza, who has had running battles with Mpofu, argued in court papers that his suspension of Zikalala “in the manner that he did is yet a further example of what appears to be a pattern of behaviour by him that discloses complete lack of accountability to and disregard for the board”.

Yesterday, Zikalala denied any knowledge of his re-instatement: “I don’t know anything about it and no one has said anything to me. Maybe I’ll hear about it at the CCMA.”

According to SABC insiders, the board decided to reinstate him because its members believed the “crime” he was accused of did not warrant his suspension.

Zikalala was said to have “leaked” a confidential SABC report to a senior ANC leader earlier this year.

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