Jean-Jacques Cornish

Madonsela to sue over CIA slur by deputy minister

South Africa’s deputy defence minister has sparked a diplomatic row by accusing the country’s ombudswoman of being on the CIA payroll.

The Public Protector says she’ll sue the minister while the US embassy says it will lodge a complaint through diplomatic channels.

Deputy Defence Minister Kebby Maph atsoe was speaking at the unveiling of a tombstone for a liberation fighter in Soweto.

He says Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s been planted by the CIA.

The aim is to undermine the ANC and the government and create a puppet regime in South Africa for the US.

He says the ANC cannot allow itself to be hijacked and Mandonsela must say who her handler is.

Since she sent a letter to President Jacob Zuma last month asking him to say when he’s going to pay back the percentage of public money spent upgrading his private home at Nkandla not related to security, Madonsela’s come under increasingly heated attack from the ANC and its allies.

She says she’ll take legal action against Maphatsoe, asking him to retract and apologise, or provide incontrovertible evidence that she’s a CIA agent.

The American Embassy spokesman John Hillmeyer says the US categorically rejects the baseless and offensive accusation from the deputy minister and will lodge a complaint through diplomatic channels.




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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.