Jean-Jacques Cornish

Zuma heads for Nigeria as Nkandla row rages on

President Jacob Zuma’s jetted off to Nigeria leaving behind a storm about his police  minister declaring he has  nothing to contribute towards the 20-million-euro security improvement to Zuma’s private home in Kwazulu/Natal.

Zuma has some fence mending to do with incoming Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari after xenophobic attacks on foreigners in South Africa.

But the fallout with Africa’s biggest economy pales next to the row raging over the so-called Nkandla affair that’s dominated domestic politics these past four years.

Ends into

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s findings came as no surprise, given that he was reporting on the man at whose pleasure he serves.

Nevertheless his insistence that a swimming pool and chicken coup should be considered cost-free and necessary security upgrades to Zuma’s private home has outraged the opposition and many of the people living in poverty in South Africa 21 year after the end of apartheid.

The official opposition Democratic Alliance calls the police minister’s findings an insult to the South African people.

It plans to take legal action to support the report of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela that Zuma should  repay the cost of private improvements to Nkandla because he’s unduly benefited
from the work on his home that also included a cattle enclosure, amphitheatre and visitors’ centre .

Nhleko’s report has been tabled for consideration in parliament, which has previously
descended into in chaos with opposition lawmakers demanding Zuma pay back the money.
Those demands are expected to persist.


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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.