Ellen Tshabalala failed Unisa courses badly

2014-12-03 16:11

SABC chairperson Ellen Tshabalala failed a course in labour relations so badly that she didn’t even qualify to reregister to obtain her diploma, a Unisa official told MPs.

University of South Africa executive director for legal services Jan van Wyk was today the first witness to be called in Parliament’s communications portfolio committee inquiry into whether Tshabalala lied about her academic qualifications.

Van Wyk confirmed that even though Tshabalala had registered for her BComm degree in both 1988 and 1996, she failed to obtain the qualification.

According to Unisa records, she had also registered for a diploma in labour relations in 1995.

During the academic year, she passed two, failed two, and did not write two of the modules.

In January 1996, she was allowed to rewrite the two she could not write the previous year.

She obtained a score of 13% for her human resources module, and a score of 35% for labour relations.

Unisa then wrote to Tshabalala informing her she would not qualify to redo the course.

“What it [the letter] says is when this [the results] came out you [Tshabalala] did so poorly you will not be allowed to be readmitted again,” Van Wyk said.

It also emerged that in 2011 Mercedes Benz had requested confirmation of Tshabalala’s qualifications from Unisa when she applied for a job at the company.

The university had informed an intermediary – acting on behalf of Mercedes Benz – that Tshabalala had not obtained any of the qualifications she claimed to have.

Tshabalala faces two charges of misconduct in the inquiry – one for claiming she had obtained the two qualifications on her CV when she applied for the job as SABC chairperson.

The other charge relates to an affidavit she submitted to Parliament stating that her qualifications had been stolen during a burglary at her home.

Tshabalala was not present at today’s inquiry.

A plea of not guilty was entered on her behalf by evidence leader Ntuthuzelo Vanara after the committee denied a request by Tshabalala’s attorney for a postponement.

An irate committee chairperson Joyce Moloi-Moropa indicated MPs had already “bended over backwards” to accommodate Tshabalala.

On advice from Vanara, the committee decided to proceed in Tshabalala’s absence.

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