Jean-Jacques Cornish

Morocco acknowledged “glamour” of Saharawi President Brahim Ghali’s state visit to South Africa

Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita has broken his silence on Saharawi President Brahim Ghali’s state visit to South Africa, acknowledging the glamour of the event

Ghali flew home with host President Cyril Ramaphosa’s assertion that the coloniaisation of Africa continued so long as Morocco maintained its illegal 47-year occupation of Western Sahara.

Ramaphosa is expected to emphasize this to Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sànchez when he visits South Africa next week.

As the colonial power that abandoned Western Sahara following the 1975 death of dictator Francisco Franco, Spain still bears responsibility under international law for its former colony.

Sànchez is under fire domestically for appearing to support continued Moroccan occupation of the Western Sahara.

Bourita claims South Africa is on the wrong side of history and unable to persuade some African countries to back Western Sahara independence.

The historical reality is that the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic was a founder member of the African Union at its inception in Pretoria twenty years ago.

Morocco is a latecomer to the continental body. It’s membership in 2017 was opposed by South Africa, among others.

Morocco is back at war with Polisario Front, the Saharawi liberation movement because it violated the 1991 ceasefire that ended the 15 year conflict following its occupation.

As part of that truce Morocco promised to hold a referendum on self determination in the occupied territory, an undertaking it has reneged on.

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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.