Snuki Zikalala’s controversial tenure at the helm of SABC news might be
at an end. The contract of the group executive for news and current
affairs and ANC stalwart expires at the end of April, writes Buddy Naidu in Business Times.

The revelation comes in the week that one of his key supporters and board deputy chairwoman, Christine Qunta, resigned after a fallout with chairwoman Kanyi Mkonza.

Renewal of Zikalala’s contract is being discussed at both board and management level, but it seems his influence over both structures has diminished.

It also comes at a time when the news department is alleged to have contributed around R150-million to the R784-million deficit projected by the broadcaster less than a month ago.

The opening of several news bureaus around the world and the launch of a satellite service in Washington is believed to have contributed to the overspend.

Many also blame Zikalala for the axing of the CEO, and his one-time ANC comrade, Dali Mpofu.

Mpofu suspended Zikalala in May last year for leaking confidential documents to the media. However, in a comical turnaround, Mpofu himself was suspended within hours for failing to inform the board of his decision.

Before that, Zikalala was involved in a blacklisting scandal in which he apparently ordered certain political commentators critical of then- President Thabo Mbeki not be used by the broadcaster.

He raised the ire of many in the ANC when he sanctioned a two-hour radio interview with Mbeki a week before the ANC conference in Polokwane in December 2007.

It was seen as a desperate act of political campaigning after Mbeki’s crushing defeat in party provincial elections before the conference.

Click here to read the full report, posted on the Business Times website.