Acting SABC chief Aguma suspended
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.