Jean-Jacques Cornish

DA welcomes release of Zambian opposition leader

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The Democratic Alliance says today’s release of  Zambian opposition leader, Hakainde Hichelima, from prison and the dropping of treason charges against him is first step to restoring democracy in that country.

The move was welcomed by DA leader Mmusi Maimani who what denied entry into Zambia when he tried to attend Hichilema’s bail application earlier this year.

The Democratic Alliance has maintained all along that the treason charges against Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema were baseless.

The man who ran a very close second to President Edgar Lungu in last year’s election allegedly endangered Lungu’s life by blocking his motorcade.

The DA says the charges were trumped up and

clearly motivated by a government intent on eliminating a political opponent.

The violent nature of Hichilema’s s arrest, and the inhumane treatment that he  received in detention, confirms the political motives behind the charges.

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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.