Sunday World is reporting that the soap opera at SABC took a dramatic turn this week when two executives who had their knives out for Metro FM sports presenter Robert Marawa were stopped in their tracks a day before they were to guillotine him.

Group executive for sports Sully Motsweni and acting general manager for radio Orapeleng Lethebe were allegedly suspended on Wednesday, a day before they were expected to give Marawa his marching orders.

This after a committee of limping sports presenters led by fired David Kekana met the public broadcaster's interim board to make a presentation about their "unfair" treatment at the hands of Motsweni and other senior managers. Kekana, other sports presenters and analysts including Coudjoe Amakwaa, Lindani Mbense and Christopher Bongo were booted out of the SABC two weeks ago by Motsweni.

It is understood the board has since instructed management to rescind the letters that were given to the quartet.

In another twist, the interim board, led by Khanyisile Kweyama, reshuffled three executives on Thursday as part of their spring-cleaning operation to get the public broadcaster back on the straight and narrow.

Acting chief financial officer Audrey Raphela was removed, as was acting general manager for stakeholder relations Puleng Thulo. She was ordered to go back to Radio 2000, where she is station manager.

Acting group executive for corporate affairs Keobokile Mosweu, who took over the position after Hlaudi Motsoeneng was axed, was also removed. Hosea Jiyane will now take over the portfolio.

The broadcaster was also rocked by the death of two of its staffers this week. Radio producer Suna Venter, one of the "SABC 8" journalists who stood up against Motsoeneng, died in her Joburg home this week. Camerawoman Zama Mbalo also died on Thursday after a short illness.

Kekana confirmed that they met with the SABC board to give their side of the story on the decision by sports management not to renew their contracts.

"We gave the board our side of the story about the matter and they have been good in listening to our pleas," he said.

He said his committee also included Marawa's case on their list of grievances. "We questioned a lot of things including how the people who took the decisions got appointed to their positions, among other things. Discussions ranged from how the organisation was being led and the decisions that were made by those people."

Kekana said board members were represented by deputy chairman Mathatha Tsedu, Bessie Tugwana and Krish Naidoo.

"The board said they wanted to go on a consultative meeting with the managers implicated including Sully Motsweni and other board members on the matter."

He said the board responded on Thursday and they were happy with their decision. "Unfortunately, I can't speak to the media about their response."

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago confirmed the meeting. "... but we don't want to engage on what was discussed because it would be unprofessional."

However, Kganyago said nobody was suspended from the public broadcaster.

"People took their leave days because they were going to expire by end of June and they did not want to forfeit them ... including the ones you are talking about."

He confirmed the reshuffle but limited his response to the position of the CFO.

"As per our policies, people do not act for a long time to avoid creating an expectation. It [the reshuffle] happens all the time and there's nothing peculiar about what happened. It's not only the CFO who has been moved around," he said.

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