James Aguma is not the right person to lead the SABC – Phumzile Van Damme

DA says new Acting CEO is a known ally of Hlaudi Motsoeneng

James Aguma is not the right person to lead the SABC 

28 June 2016

The appointment James Aguma as the SABC’s Acting CEO is a firm indicator that the public broadcaster’s board has no desire to fix the SABC.

This afternoon, the Chairperson of the SABC board, Mbulaheni Maguvhe, announced the appointment of Aguma as the public broadcaster’s acting CEO, following the resignation of Jimi Matthews yesterday. 

Aguma has since January 2015 served as the SABC’s CFO, and is a known ally of Hlaudi Motseoeng. 

As the SABC’s CFO, Aguma would have given financial approval and support for Motsoeneng’s madcap decisions, and is therefore simply unsuitable to lead the SABC.

The SABC needs a CEO who will lead the organisation without fear and favour and one who respects freedom of expression and the journalistic, creative and programming independence of the SABC. In supporting Hlaudi Motsoeneng, Aguma has shown himself not to be this person.

It has become patently clear that the board of the SABC only serves to further the interests of the ANC, the Communications Minister, Faith Muthambi, and Hlaudi Motsoeneng, and is not dedicated - as required by the Broadcasting Act - to fairness, freedom of expression, the right of the public to be informed, and openness and accountability. 

As such, the DA re-iterates its call for Parliament’s Communications Committee to return to Parliament in order to discuss fixing the SABC, including, removing the current SABC board.

The DA is committed to restoring the integrity and independence of the SABC, and the first step, is to ensure that it has the right leadership. Hlaudi Motsoeneng, and James Aguma are not the right leadership the SABC requires.

Issued by Phumzile Van Damme, DA Shadow Minister of Communications, 28 June 2016