Jean-Jacques Cornish

Ramaphosa takes control of NorthWest provincial administration

Chairperson of South Africa’s upper house of parliament Thandi Modise confirms she’s received President Cyril Ramaphosa’s letter informing it that the national executive has taken control of the entire NorthWest provincial government.

Two thirds of the local authorities in the corruption-plagued province have been placed under the control of the ministry of cooperative governance and traditional affairs.

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This is the first time the national executive has taken over an entire provincial administration.

Facing his most substantial test of leadership since becoming head of the ruling African National Congress last December, President Cyril Ramaphosa was forced to act when provincial premier Supra Mahumapelo reneged on his undertaking to resign and took an indefinite leave of absence.

Violent demonstrations demanding the sacking of Mahumapelo forced Ramaphosa to truncate his attendance at the Commonwealth summit in London last month.

His non-confrontational style has failed with Mahumaplo who was part of ousted president Jacob Zuma’s inner circle and maintains the graft-mired president should never have been forced out.

Significantly, Ramaphosa sent his minister in the presidency Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma as the head of a commission to investigate Mahumapelo’s rule and allegations that he was using the provincial government as a personal piggy bank.

Mahumapelo was one of the main backers of Dlamini Zuma in her toe-to-toe battle with Ramaphosa for the party leadership.

However, given the parlous state of the province’s finances, she had not option but to recommend his sacking

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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.