Jean-Jacques Cornish

SANDF assessing needs for Mozambique flood rescue

South Africa’s sending troops to help rescue operations in flood-stricken areas of Mozambique.

Members of the South African National defence force had crossed to border to assess the needs the country’s eastern neighbour even as President Jacob Zuma joined leaders in Maputo attending the inauguration of President Felipe Nyusi.

Heavy rains have caused flooding particularly in the central Zambezia province that’s cost at least ten lives and displaced 20 000 in Mozambique – submerging part of the major north-south road traversing the country.

South Africa’s military spokesman says they’ll deploy two medium transport helicopters, navy divers and personnel from the military Health Service.

Eighteen children are missing in Mocuba in Zambezia province, where the Licungo River’s overflowed its banks.

Flooding is commonplace in Mozambique early in the new year which is the height of the rainy season.

For decades South African military personnel have been involved in rescue operations and supplying food to people who have lost their homes and their crops.

Fifteen years ago South African helicopters leading the operation plucked more than 900 people from the treetops that some had been clinging to for up to five days.

Mozambique relies heavily on financial assistance from Western the powers to mitigate flood damage.

But it is to its neighbour that it turns for the immediate rescue assistance.

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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.