Jean-Jacques Cornish

SABC’s lying boss quits

The head of South Africa’s state broadcaster has resigned after being deceitful about having a university degree and then lying to parliament about her certificate being stolen.

It is not immediately clear what part the ruling African National Congress had in axing Ellen Tshaballa who was a member of President Jacob Zuma’s inside circle.

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Ellen Tshabalala is not the first top executive of the South African Broadcasting Corporation to have lied about their education.

The chief operating officer of the beleagured body dismissed as “his master’s voice”for slavishly plugging the government line is Hlaudi Motsoeneng who falsely claims to have a high school diploma.

The Western Cape High Court has ordered his suspension – on full pay.

The SABC denies he’s been handed the reins following the departure of Tshabalala in the face of growing public pressure and clamouring from opposition parties for her to step down.
Tshabalala had told parliament that her degree and post graduate diploma were lost in a house robbery.

However the University of South Africa asserts that she never received any qualifications.

The SABC quotes Tshabalala — who was appointed by President Jacob Zuma in October 2013 — as saying she quit because there was just too much pressure.

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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.