Jean-Jacques Cornish

EFF says it will answer violence against its members with violence

Medical personnel were called into the National Assembly after a brutal fist fight between members of the ultra left Economic Freedom fighters and parliamentary protection officers ordered to remove them.

The EFF members in their red boiler suits refused to allow President Jacob Zuma answer Parliamentary questions. They insisted he was the one who should be removed for violating South Africa’s constitution.

This is the second time in a fortnight that scuffles have erupted in the National Assembly after speaker Baleka Mbete ordered the protection officers to remove EFF MPs who refused to allow President Jacob Zuma to speak.

The MPs threw bottles and hard hats – part of their worker uniforms – at the security officers.

Outside the chamber they set off a fire hydrant and broke a glass door with a steel rod.


Medical personnel were called to assist an MP – understood to be from the ANC – who collapsed.

MPs from the governing party are calling for the EFF members to be charges with criminal damage to parliamentary property.

EFF leader Julius Malema says  his party has exhausted all peaceful means to ask Zuma to resign. In future they will answer violence with violence.

Earlier this week the EFF failed in a court bid to interdict Mbete not to use protection officers to remove MPs when they  prevented Zuma  from speaking in Parliament.

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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.