Suspended Aguma 'central and complicit' to SABC dire straits - DA

Cape Town - The DA on Saturday welcomed the suspension of SABC acting group CEO James Aguma, saying he was “central and complicit” to the dire straits the public broadcaster has been facing.

 DA Shadow Minister of Communications Phumzile van Damme on Saturday said the party had been calling for his suspension for some time following his approving “lots of bad decisions and giving it financial backing”.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago confirmed the suspension, but said it would not reveal any further details “due to internal processes”.

Group Executive for Media, Technology and Infrastructure Tseliso Ralitabo, has been appointed as the acting group CEO in the interim.

The ANC Study Group on the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) on Saturday also welcomed Aguma’s suspension.

“This suspension follows a recent recommendation by SCOPA that he be placed on suspension while the Interim SABC Board conducts its forensic investigation into irregularities in procurement and expenditure at the SABC. We are confident of the efforts by the Interim SABC Board in their commitment of restoring good governance and public confidence in our public broadcaster,” its chairperson Mnyamezeli Booi said in a statement.

City Press on Friday reported that Aguma – who had been on sick leave for two weeks - faced suspension for providing an affidavit in Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s misconduct case saying the board did not take a resolution to discipline Motsoeneng, “yet he was in a board meeting when the decision was taken and in fact he supported the decision”.

Aguma reportedly gave Motsoeneng permission to hold what Van Damme referred to as his “infamous press conference denigrating the SABC” on April 19, but denied this when questioned about it by the board and Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Communications.

The publication spoke to three “impeccable sources” who said Aguma has “repeatedly misled the board and been less than honest with them”.

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