Jean-Jacques Cornish

Vigilante fears after young hijack victim dies

Residents of a working class township east of Johannsburg are threatening to take the law into their own hands to avenge the death of a four year old dragged by a hijacked vehicle.

Shocked by this killing, South Africans have learned that another five year old kidnapped outside Pretoria last week has been reunited with his parents – apparently unharmed.

Police commissioner of Gauteng – South Africa’s most populous province – Lesetja Mothiba’s appealing with residents of Reiger Park to let the law enforcement authorities do their job.

Debra Boards, the aunt of Taegrin Morris, says the hijackers who dragged the four-year-old trapped by his seatbelt after stealing the family car, must be made to suffer like her nephew.

Taegrin’s mother Chantal has identified one of the hijackers as a beggar who she regularly supplied with food and clothing.

She’s told police he was one of three men who approached them at gunpoint on Saturday and ordered her, her husband and her daughter to exit the car.

They drove off before they could free Taegrin.

Police say they’ve questioned a man but no arrests have been made.

They’re offering a fourteen thousand euro reward for information on the hijacking.

They’re offering half of that for information on the abduction outside Pretoria last week of five year old Mongezi Phike who was released after being held for four days.

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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.