Jean-Jacques Cornish

Police asked to stop vandalism in NUMSA strike

Employers in the metals and engineering industries have asked police to redouble efforts to contain vandalism and intimidation as the strike by South Africa’s largest trade union goes into its fourth day.

Employers have been locking in their workers to protect them from enforcers from the 220 000-strong National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa.

Strikers east of Johannesburg have broken into offices of engineering companies and poured acid on their computers.

They also been marching on metal-working companies threatening any workers not supporting their strike for a 12 percent pay hike.

In the eastern province of Limpopo, police had to fire rubber bullets on workers picketing the Medupi power station being built to meet South Africa electricity generating shortfall

Talks were scheduled to resume last night (Wednesday) between workers and employers.

Steel and engineering workers say they’re either being forced to flee workplaces besieged by strikers or being held against their will by bosses on the pretext of protecting them.

The union deplores the employers call for police protection against striker’s intimidation, saying it seeks to undermine their efforts to get a living wage in a country still torn by world-beating inequality 20 years after the ANC came to power/

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Jean-Jacques Cornish is a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the media all his adult life.

Starting as a reporter on his hometown newspaper, he moved briefly to then Rhodesia before returning to South Africa to become a parliamentary correspondent with the South African Press Association. He was sent to London as Sapa’s London editor and also served as special correspondent to the United Nations. He joined the then Argus group in London as political correspondent.

Returning to South Africa after 12 years abroad, he was assistant editor on the Pretoria News for a decade before becoming editor of the Star and SA Times for five years.

Since 1999 he’s been an independent journalist writing and broadcasting – mainly about Africa – for Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape
Talk, Radio France International, PressTV, Radio Live New Zealand, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, the BBC, Agence France Press,
Business in Africa, Leadership, India Today, the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies.

He has hosted current affairs talk shows on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He appears as an African affairs pundit on SABC Africa and CNBC Africa.
He lectured in contemporary studies to journalism students at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.

He speaks on African affairs to corporate and other audiences.
He has been officially invited as a journalist to more than 30 countries. He was the winner of the 2007 SADC award for radio journalism.

He’s been a member of the EISA team observing elections in Somaliland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Tunsiai.

In October 2009 he headed a group of 39 African journalists to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

In January 2010 he joined a rescue and paramedical team to earthquake struck Haiti.

He is immediate past president of the Alliance Francaise of Pretoria.

Jean-Jacques is a director of Giant Media. The company was given access to Nelson Mandela in his retirement years until 2009.
He is co-producer of the hour-long documentary Mandela at 90 that was broadcast on BBC in January 2009.