The Democratic Alliance welcomed the suspension of the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) acting group CEO James Aguma on Saturday.
The party’s shadow minister of communications Phumzile van Damme said Aguma was “central and complicit” to the crisis faced by the public broadcaster. She said the DA had been calling for his suspension for some time for approving “lots of bad decisions and giving it financial backing”, News24 reported.
Kaizer Kganyago, the SABC’s spokesperson, confirmed Aguma’s suspension, but did not give further details apparently “due to internal processes”. According to the report, the SABC’s Group Executive for Media, Technology and Infrastructure, Tseliso Ralitabo, has been appointed as the acting group CEO temporarily.
The City Press reported on Friday that Aguma faced suspension for providing an affidavit in former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s misconduct case, saying the interim SABC board didn’t resolve to discipline Motsoeneng, “yet he was in a board meeting when the decision was taken and in fact he supported the decision”.
Aguma had been on sick leave for two weeks.
He reportedly sanctioned Motsoeneng’s controversial press conference on April 19 – where he lambasted the interim board and defended his policies at the broadcaster it planned to revoke – but denied this when questioned about it by the board and parliament’s communications committee.
The ANC’s Study Group on the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on Saturday also welcomed Aguma’s suspension.