Although the SABC has accepted former acting CEO James Aguma’s resignation‚ he is not completely off the hook.
“We have said that we have handed over a number of matters to the SIU [and] some of them relate to some of the charges around dishonesty and possible criminal activities. The SIU (special investigating unit) will conduct the process and not ourselves‚” said SABC interim board chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama.
She was speaking at the SABC’s headquarters in Johannesburg on Wednesday‚ just hours after Aguma‚ who was also the public broadcaster’s CFO‚ tendered his resignation from his two positions.
Aguma was facing 10 disciplinary charges‚ namely breaching his contract‚ dishonesty and frustrating the disciplinary hearings of axed SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng. The charges would now be dropped since he had he tendered his resignation.
“The SABC has a forensic department that looks at processes and if there is any wrongdoing at any stage‚ we do take the necessary steps to ensure that that does go through the criminal justice system‚” added Kweyama.
The former acting SABC chief executive briefly appeared before a disciplinary hearing at Werksmans Attorneys in Sandton on Wednesday‚ where his legal team‚ together with SABC representative Sandile July‚ agreed to halt the hearing as he would be resigning.
Chairperson of the hearing Professor Taki Madima SC told journalists that the hearing would no longer continue due to the mutual agreement of the parties.
“The parties have had a very short discussion and have come to a form of an agreement. Mr James Aguma will tender his resignation by no later the 13h00 and send it to Mr July and in turn‚ the SABC will withdraw all the charges against Mr James Aguma and therefore the hearing is terminated‚” said chairperson Taki Madima SC.
July had earlier echoed the chairperson’s sentiments on accepting Aguma’s resignation and that he is not completely off the hook.
“SABC accepts the withdrawal of Mr Aguma because at the end of the day‚ they (SABC) wanted to resolve the matter as speedily as possible. If there are any other issues that are pending against Aguma‚ they will be dealt with in a different context not as an employee because he has resigned‚” said July.
Aguma was suspended in May by the SABC’s interim board after being accused of providing false information under oath during the disciplinary proceedings brought against Motsoeneng.
He has also been accused of tender irregularities and fruitless and wasteful expenditure during his tenure.
On Tuesday‚ Aguma’s attorney Osborne Molatudi‚ stalled the hearing for over four hours as he had earlier argued there was an ulterior motive for the SABC bringing four additional charges against Aguma‚ bringing the total number of charges to 10.
Madima then postponed the hearing till10am on Wednesday to allow Molatudi to file an urgent court interdict at the Labour Court to have the hearing set aside.
However‚ Aguma and Molatudi made an about turn on Wednesday morning after being provided with outstanding documents they had requested from the SABC which they had said were crucial for the hearing to continue.
Source: TMG Digital.