tensions at sabc claim first scalp

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

SABC head of news Snuki Zikalala was yesterday suspended by the public broadcaster for allegedly leaking information to the media.

The corporation's chief executive, Dali Mpofu, said Zikalala was suspended with immediate effect pending an investigation into allegations of serious misconduct.

He said Zikalala's suspension was related to the alleged leaking of sensitive information to the media.

Mpofu denied that the action was related to reports regarding an internal SABC memorandum, alleging rifts between the SABC board and Mpofu that was published in Sunday papers.

"It is actually unrelated to the media speculation around this issue," Mpofu said in a statement. "So timing in that sense was quite strangely unfortunate."

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said: "The suspension has nothing to do with the reports. Those reports were untruthful.

"I cannot divulge what information we think he has leaked to the media because that would be conducting an investigation through the media."

Media reports claimed Zikalala supported the new SABC board and was also suspected to be behind allegations contained in a memorandum by chairman of the board, Khanyisile Mkonza.

There were claims that Mpofu and Zikalala were on a collision course after Mpofu's management team allegedly demanded that Zikalala be fired.

The reports further claimed that Zikalala's successors were already lined up for the powerful position.

Kganyago denied that the suspension was related to the claims.

Zikalala confirmed he had been suspended. But he denied that the suspension had anything to do with a media leak.

"I am not at liberty to divulge the reasons for my suspension. I don't think the action was fair. I will defend myself at the hearing."