Jean-Jacques Cornish

Rugby player pays dearly for trying to treat a lion like a kitten

He came all the way from Wales to pit his rugby skills against a team named after the fastest cat on the continent.

But hooker Scott Baldwin paid dearly for foolishly trying to pet the king of the beasts as though it were a kitten.

Scott Baldwin and his Osprey team mates visited a game farm ahead of their encounter with the Cheetahs at the Bloemfontein home ground.

He put his hand through the fence to pet a lion and got bitten.

Osprey’s coach Steve Tandy was not amused, describing the encounter as pretty stupid on Scott’s behalf.

There was an incident with a lion, but in fairness it was nothing to do with the lion. He did bite Scott but when you put your hand in a fence where there is a lion, then you will get bitten.

From the sideline, Baldwin could only tweet: Sorry to all Ospreys fans for letting you and the team down by missing the game through the bite.

Should [have] known he wouldn’t be impressed with me stroking his lioness before introducing myself to him first. And for those asking, my hand is on the mend thankfully and should be up and running round soon enough, thanks for your support and concern.”

The Ospreys were mauled  44-25 by the Cheetahs. It was their fourth successive defeat in the European Super Pro 14 series that South African teams are playing in for the first time

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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.