Jean-Jacques Cornish

Morocco caught lying on official PAP stationery

Morocco’s latest piece of diplomatic vandalism has met with a swift and embarrassing repost from the Pan African Parliament.

The mendacious Mediterranean kingdom sought to take advantage of the continental talkshop’s leadership paralysis.

Using PAP official stationery, a certain Roger Nkodo attacks the European Parliament for criticizing Morocco’s cynical use of refugees in a spat with Spain.

Nkodo purports to be a past president of the PAP and a goodwill ambassador of the African body.

Through its clerk, the PAP fired back: “Nkodo is is not a goodwill ambassador or a past president of the PAP and does not hold any position in PAP that entitles him to speak on behalf of PAP.

“His statement did not originate in PAP. It is his own personal statement without reference to or authority of the PAP.” 

Morocco is well used to being slapped down by European countries for playing fast and loose with the truth.

In recent months Germany reminded the kingdom that it holds no legal authority of Western Sahara.

A Spanish court summarily dismissed a glaringly fake legal bid by Morocco to have the Saharawi President Brahim Ghali tried for human rights abuses.

Madrid rejected Moroccan criticism for allowing Ghali to receive treatment for COVID in a Spanish hospital.

Morocco responded angrily to this by removing its guards around the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, allowing thousands of Moroccan refugees to stream onto Spanish territory.

The European Parliament rapped this action by Morocco.

Morocco has  recently return to the African family, decades after storming out of the OAU when it recognized the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic which has been illegally occupied by Morocco since 1975.

It is seeking to establish stronger ties with African countries, using its revenue as the largest importer of dagga into Europe.

It has skin in the game of the PAP leadership imbroglio, providing finance and private jet for the Malian candidate Haidra Aichata Cisse.

Undercover payments are not uncommon in African politics where they are euphemistically known as pot au vin or matabiche.

It remains to be seen how long African leaders will tolerate their new member’s bare faced lies.

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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.