The appointment of James Aguma as SABC’s Acting CEO is a firm indicator that the public broadcaster’s board has no desire to fix SABC, wails South Africa’s official opposition party.
According to the party, SABC needs a CEO who will lead the organisation without fear and favor. A CEO who respects freedom of expression and the journalistic, creative and programming independence of the SABC.
And, Aguma as SABC’s CFO since 2015, is a known ally of Hlaudi Motseoeng.
He “would have given financial approval and support for Motsoeneng’s madcap decisions, and is therefore simply unsuitable to lead the SABC.” In supporting Motsoeneng he flagged himself unfit for the position, DA argues.
“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 reiterates 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,” states the opposition party.
Meanwhile, circulating reports say SABC employees have threatened to news-starve the country if a meeting with COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng and the board isn’t scheduled to address the resignation of Jimi Matthews.
The Minister of Communications Faith Muthambi nonetheless, noted with concern the sudden resignation of the former SABC Acting Group Chief Executive Officer, Jimi Matthews.
“The Ministry of Communications has noted media statements from various political parties, and some individuals that seek to politicize the SABC matters, and it is unfortunate that some are looking to score political points.
It is unfortunate that Mr Matthews decided to turn his resignation into a social media issue, without raising his concerns internally, nor communicating his concerns with the Ministry of Communications,” Muthambi remarks.