News24

SABC wants Snuki back

2004-02-22 14:13

Johannesburg- Former head of SABC radio news - and presently chief spokesperson for the department of labour - Snuki Zikalala - may be heading back to the public broadcaster as head of both radio and television news.

While this has been denied by a number of board members and officials, City Press has been informed that the news sub-committee of the board had at a recent meeting called for Zikalala's return.

City Press understands that calls for Zikalala's return has been necessitated by the need to strengthen the news division, which has been without a head since 2002.

Former senior political reporters Miranda Strydom and Makhosini Nkosi, who both resigned last year, yesterday confirmed that they were recently approached by the SABC to return.

While speculation was rife in the SABC corridors about Zikalala's possible return, Zikalala himself dispelled the rumours that he was earmarked for the advertised position.

"I've not been approached by anyone from the SABC. If they want me back why did they let me go in the first place?" he asked.

"I am happy to work with people who respect me."

"It is just wishful thinking that I will return to the SABC," he continued.

"I work with people who understand where I come from, including the (labour) minister. I do miss the journalism industry but I'm happy to change the lives of people where I am".

Shunned

Zikalala left the SABC in 2002 after failing to be appointed to two jobs that he had applied for.

He was last year nominated by Strydom to become a board member but failed to make it through.

Instead, his former subordinate, Cecil Msomi, was appointed and is now head of the sub-committee of news.

Msomi is believed to be behind Snuki's return.

SABC spokesperson Paul Setsetse said he doesn't know of anyone who was approached.

Setsetse said Msomi gave orders that he didn't want to speak to City Press on any of the issues.

City Press sources said Zikalala's reappointment was broached at a recent meeting of the news subcommittee of the board, chaired by Msomi.

The meeting was to look at the news division's strategy to cover the elections and also to look at filling the post of head of news.

A board member said: "We are concerned that the SABC cannot go into the election without a head of news and we told management to speed up the process of appointing someone to this position.

"We were also concerned that the division had lost 43 people in one year and we have asked management to give us the list of these people and the reasons why they left.

"We are worried about the lack of skills in the SABC.

"But Snuki's name was not mentioned. I know that Miranda was mentioned and as far as I know she has refused to return, saying the conditions that made her leave are still prevalent."