MPs call for Aguma to be suspended‚ charged for ‘lying’ to Parliament

Members of Parliament want acting SABC CEO James Aguma to be sanctioned for lying to Parliament‚ with some calling for him to be criminally charged.

While communications minister Ayanda Dlodlo assured Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) that the SABC was starting on a new slate‚ MPs were critical of Aguma not showing up for the meeting dealing with R5 billion in irregular expenditure.

Acting SABC CEO James Aguma. Picture: FILE / Gallo Images

Dlodlo appeared before the committee along with the SABC interim board to discuss spending at the public broadcaster.

She said the process to appointing a new chief executive at the SABC was already under way.

“We’ve advertised. That process should be expedited for a shortlisting. We really want to start on a new slate‚” said Dlodlo.

MPs were not impressed about Aguma’s absence during the meeting.

“He has disappeared again. We don’t take kindly to this sort of behaviour minister. The acting whatsoever is not prepared to account to Scopa. Where is Mr Aguma? We really need him with problems we’re sitting with‚” said the ANC’s Nyami Booi.

Deputy chairman of the interim board‚ Mathata Tsedu‚ said Aguma had booked off sick until Monday.

Parliament also heard how Aguma deposed an affidavit in Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s latest disciplinary hearing‚ which is expected to start on Wednesday afternoon‚ where he claims to have given the controversial SABC executive the authority to hold a recent media briefing that landed him in hot water.

DA MP Tim Brauteseth was critical of Aguma‚ saying he had told the communications committee last week that he did not authorise Motsoeneng to hold the media conference “and therefore he lied in parliament and that’s a criminal act“.

“Suspend Aguma today‚ whether he is sick or not. It doesn’t matter‚” Brauteseth told Dlodlo.

Motsoeneng is accused of‚ among other things‚ bringing the SABC into disrepute after criticising the credibility and competence of some members of the interim board.

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