Jean-Jacques Cornish

Pretoria demonstrators violently reject ANC’s election candidate

The leadership of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress is in emergency meeting this after noon following  violence that closed the arterial highway to the north and turned large parts of the capital into no-go zones.

The fallout is over the announcement of the party’s mayoral candidate for greater Pretoria are known as Tshwane.

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Police leave has been cancelled in Pretoria and officers‚have been drafted in from other areas to quell the violence that has seen at least 21 buses torched‚ foreign-owned business ransacked and roads into the townships barricaded  making it impossible for hundreds of thousands of people to get to work.

Journalists covering the unrest have been threatened.

Police have been engaged in running battles with protestors determined to block off townships to the east and west of Pretoria.

Police denied accusations that they had seriously underestimated the extent of the anger after the ANC

imposed a Zulu candidate, former cabinet minister Thoko Didiza on the Pretoria electorate

They say the ANC cannot bring a Zulu person to rule Pedi, Tsongas, Shangaans and Vendas.

ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa says tribalism has no place in ANC politics.

Pretostors are saying they will burn down the capital if  incumbent mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa is not allowed to keep his job after local elections in early August.

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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.