Jean-Jacques Cornish

Nothing to worry about says South Africa’s State Security Minister

Two days after the United States warned its citizens about the possibility of terrorist attacks in South Africa, Britain has sounded a  similar cautionary note.

South Africa’s State Security Minister insists there is no cause for concern, but up-market shopping centers in Cape Town and Johannesburg,that both Washington and London say are the terrorists’ most likely targets have upped their level of vigilance.

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The British High Commission in Pretoria says its warning yesterday (Monday) updates a travel advisory last month stating that there’s a high threat of terrorsim in South Africa and attacks could be indiscriminate.

US Ambassador to Pretoria Patrick Gaspard says their warning of terror attacks during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan is based on verifiable information.

He’s happy with the level of cooperation he’s receiving from South African authorities to ensure the safety of both local citizens and Americans.

A travel advisory issued by the US last September warning of violent crime and terrorism in South Africa remains in force.

State Security Minister David Mahlobo says South Africa  remains a strong and stable democratic country and there’s no immediate danger posed by the alert.

Acting National Police Commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane  says there’s no cause for concern about possible terror attacks. Police are monitoring intelligence flowing in and out of the country.

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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.