22 February 2004: City Press reveals that SABC board members want to bring back Snuki Zikalala
26 March 2004: Anton Harber writes on the Wits Journalism website of Zikalala’s return: “It means SABC news will move from its current position of relative independence to something much closer to the ruling party. Zikalala is not a journalist one links to words like "independent" or "critical". It is not just that he is an ardent ANC supporter for there is nothing wrong with that per se but he is close to that faction of the ANC that wants to see the SABC less critical and more sympathetic to the ruling party.”
16 April 2004: Snuki Zikalala appointed managing director of news and current affairs. The ANC waits until after the 2004 election to make the announcement because it knows that Zikalala’s appointment will be controversial
23 April 2004: Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya writes in the Mail & Guardian that Peter Matlare wanted to get Snuki Zikalala out of the SABC because Zikalala had better political connections than he did.
“Matlare wanted Snuki out because Snuki was more connected than he was in the [African National Congress]. Each time Matlare wanted to bounce something off with the political heavyweights, he found that Snuki had been there first and had given his version of events,” says a former SABC manager.
“By letting him go, Matlare was going to be the only boss. You may remember that Matlare advertised three jobs — head of TV, Radio and Africa — while Snuki was in charge of the bi-media project [merging television and radio reporting teams into one service called SABC News]. TV went to Jimi Mathews, radio to Pippa Green, Phil Molefe got the Channel Africa job and Snuki was kicked out.”
29 April 2004: Roy Padayachee appointed Deputy Minister in the Communications portfolio and, like so many others in the ANC, he immediately starts living the high life in the most expensive hotels in the country and hiring the most expensive cars available. This leads the Sunday Times to give him the nickname of Roy ‘Room Service’ Padayachie.
25 July 2004: Chris Barron writes of Zikalala in the Sunday Times: “To say that the SABC is not a happy place is putting it mildly. Fear and discontent stalk the newsroom at Auckland Park as former ANC political commissar Snuki Zikalala forces his underlings to toe the government line.”