Jean-Jacques Cornish

EFF hails decision not to suspend them

Lawmakers from South Africa’s firebrand Economic Freedom Fighters party have hailed the decision not immediately to proceed with plans to suspend to suspend them from parliament.

They maintain they were acting within the rules of the legislature when they disrupted proceedings last week by calling on President Jacob Zuma to repay public money spent on upgrading his private home Nkandla.

Economic Freedom Fighter MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says the decision not to suspend them vindicates the noisy action EFF members took in the house last week that led to the speaker Baleka Mbete calling in police to remove them.

Ndlozi maintains he and his EFF colleague will continue robustly to demand answers from the executive about public money unduly spent on Nkandla.

Constitutional experts believe the speaker was out of line calling on police to clear the house and that however disruptive the EFF MPs were, they are protected by South Africa’s basic law.

Mbete maintains she will call in police again if the EFF MPs are disorderly.

She was expected toask parliament at its next sitting today (Tuesday) to suspend the MPs who attend parliamentary session dressed in boiler suits and maids uniforms which they say shows solidarity with the poor.

She has now deferred the matter to parliament’s powers and privileges committee.


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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.