Act­ing SABC chief Aguma sus­pended

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - NEWS - Ba­balo Ndenze

The SABC has sus­pended its act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, James Aguma.

Aguma’s sus­pen­sion by the SABC’s in­terim board fol­lows calls by mem­bers of par­lia­ment’s Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on Pub­lic Ac­counts (Scopa), who last week de­manded his re­moval for his role in the messy state of the pub­lic broad­caster.

A board mem­ber, who did not want to be named, con­firmed Aguma’s sus­pen­sion.

An ANC MP said they had also been in­formed of Aguma’s sus­pen­sion last night.

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said he was not in a po­si­tion to dis­cuss an in­ter­nal mat­ter in­volv­ing an em­ployee.

“We have to re­spect our peo­ple. We’re not say­ing yay or nay at the mo­ment. We just want to say this is an em­ployer and em­ployee is­sue and we do not want to be en­gag­ing in it,” Kganyago said.

Aguma’s sup­port­ing af­fi­davit in Hlaudi Mot­soe­neng’s on­go­ing dis­ci­plinary hear­ing is said to be the last straw that led to his sus­pen­sion.

He said in his af­fi­davit that he had given Mot­soe­neng per­mis­sion to hold a press con­fer­ence dur­ing which he at­tacked mem­bers of the in­terim board.

Aguma has not re­turned to work since ear­lier this month when he took sick leave and could not make it to a Scopa meet­ing. Scopa MPs ac­cused Aguma of de­lib­er­ately skip­ping the meet­ing to avoid hav­ing to ex­plain the il­le­gal ap­point­ment of a con­sult­ing firm which was meant to in­ves­ti­gate an ir­reg­u­lar ex­pen­di­ture of R5.1-bil­lion.

MPs wanted him to ac­count for the il­le­gal con­tract, as well as the rot that set in at the SABC dur­ing his ten­ure as CFO and more re­cently as act­ing CEO.

Aguma will join con­tro­ver­sial group ex­ec­u­tive Hlaudi Mot­soe­neng, who is also on sus­pen­sion pend­ing his dis­ci­plinary in­quiry.

The two men are said to have been in­stru­men­tal in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the lo­cal con­tent pol­icy which, ac­cord­ing to the SABC, caused it to lose mil­lions. Aguma told par­lia­ment re­cently that the pol­icy had cost the broad­caster R29-mil­lion on ra­dio and R183-mil­lion on tele­vi­sion.

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