SABC 'victimised' suspended CEO James Aguma - lawyer

2017-07-18 17:02
Suspended SABC CEO James Aguma. (Gallo Images)

Suspended SABC CEO James Aguma. (Gallo Images)

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Johannesburg - Suspended SABC acting group CEO James Aguma’s request to set aside his disciplinary hearing was dismissed on Tuesday.

Aguma's attorney Osborne Molatudi argued that the SABC and its lawyer, Sandile July, had not furnished them with the necessary documents for the inquiry to continue.

Chairperson Taki Madima however ruled that the proceedings should continue and dismissed Molatudi's request as "vague" and a "fishing expedition".

He ruled that the SABC had to provide all documents that Aguma's lawyer had asked for within 30 minutes of his ruling. He said they were not important to the hearing, but should be available to anyone who asked for them.

Molatundi had argued that it was mandatory for the SABC's interim board to first take a resolution to institute a disciplinary process against his client.

In the absence of such a resolution, accompanied by minutes and transcripts of the interim board's meeting, the hearing should be set aside.

He argued that Madima was not competent to chair the inquiry because it had not been properly constituted.

Molatudi said the SABC was victimising Aguma, after it added an additional four charges.

"If additional charges are allowed, we will no doubt approach the appropriate forum, insofar as these additional charges are concerned."

Facing 10 charges

He said the SABC was on a fishing expedition against his client.

Aguma now faces 10 charges, including dishonesty and frustrating the SABC's disciplinary action against its former COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

The other charges relate to breaches of contract, and the SABC's codes of business and ethics.

He was initially charged with providing an affidavit in Motsoeneng's misconduct case, in which he stated that the board had had not taken a resolution to discipline Motsoeneng. Yet he was believed to have attended the board meeting where the decision was taken. He apparently supported the decision at the time.

The second reason for Aguma's suspension was because he said he had given Motsoeneng permission to hold a press conference. He, however, denied having done so when the board and Parliament’s portfolio committee on communications asked him about it.

Madima said there was no better place for Aguma to refute allegations against him than in the disciplinary hearings.

Read more on:    sabc  |  james aguma  |  hlaudi ­motsoeneng

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