Jean-Jacques Cornish

Local elections campaign becomes a battle for Nelson Mandela’s soul

South Africa’s closest fought local election campaign has become a battle for the soul of the late Nelson Mandela.

His grandson is calling on the National Electoral Commission to force the opposition Democratic Alliance to take down an advertisement, using the anti-apartheid icon’s voice,  saying in the current climate Mandela would have voted for them.

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Zwelivilile Mandla Mandela says his grandfather shouldn’t be affiliated with the betrayal of the ANC’s struggle against apartheid.

Mandela’s grandson’s demanding the DA take down an advertisement featuring Madiba’s voice – calling it a gross violation of the electoral code.

He says the ANC is disgusted by what he calls the flagrant abuse of the former president by the DA.

He says throughout his life and until his death, Mandela was a loyal and committed member of the ANC.

Associating him with the DA is an affront  to his history, his choice of party, his legacy and values for which he stood.

If the DA wants to invoke history in its election campaign it should  use the voice of its former and current leaders – adding that this leadership has provided the laager of white privilege since the onset of democracy in 1994.

The DA’s spokesperson Refiloe Ntsekhe says Nelson Mandela belongs to everyone.

The DA is reminding South Africa of what Mandela preached.

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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.