Jean-Jacques Cornish

Mystery of the men who arrived in SA with $9 million

South African police say they’re probing the illegal importation of 7.2 million euros into the country – ostensibly to buy arms.

The National Prosecuting Authority says discovery of an invoice for helicopters and armaments intended to be used in Nigeria could indicate why three foreigners were bringing money into South Africa.

Ends intro

The million were stashed in bundles of $100 000 in the luggage of two Nigerians and an Israeli who flew into Lanseria airport north of Johannesburg on a private jet.

Customs officials confiscated the cash but no arrests have been made.

They say the explanations by the men about why they were carrying such a large of money were riddled with discrepancies.

Found on the Nigerians was an invoice from a South African company, Tier One Services Group Limited, to a Cyprus-based international group for the purchase of various armaments and helicopters.
The arms were intended to be used in Nigeria.

According to its website, Tier One has offices across the Middle East and Africa.

It’s not registered with the National Conventional Arms Control Committee and is thus not authorised to do arms deals

Also confiscated from the men carrying the money were documents confirming they were in South Africa to buy arms.


Enquire about availability for radio, podcasts, reporting or opinion pieces.

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.