Snuki Zikalala, the SABC’s controversial news chief, has finally been given the push, writes Nkululeko Ncana in The Times.

“The contract of the head of news and current affairs, Dr Snuki Zikalala, will not be renewed when it expires at the end of the month,” the public broadcaster said in a statement yesterday.

“This decision follows a special board meeting held in Johannesburg on Saturday.”

Board chair Kanyi Mkonza said Zikalala had “surfed through difficult water” and that the board wanted someone with “fresh ideas”.

The broadcaster’s general manager for international affairs, Phil Molefe, will take over from Zikalala in an acting capacity from May 1 while a replacement is sought.

Zikalala has long been viewed by many in the ANC and in opposition parties as a loyalist of ousted former president Thabo Mbeki.

Zikalala has also been widely blamed for ‘‘bias” in the public broadcaster’s coverage, and was embroiled about two years ago in a blacklisting furore involving the snubbing of certain political commentators.

The ANC Youth League yesterday hailed Zikalala’s departure as “good riddance”, and wished him the best ‘‘on whatever career path he pursues, hoping it will not be in the media”.

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