SABC board chair in Parliamentary firing line over qualifications

2014-08-20 11:01

SABC board chairperson Ellen Tshabalala is facing a parliamentary inquiry over claims that she lied about her qualifications.

This follows revelations by City Press just over a month ago that Tshabalala does not have a BCom degree and postgraduate diploma in labour relations from Unisa, as claimed on the CV that she submitted to Parliament’s communications portfolio committee during last year’s board appointment process.

Yesterday, the committee heard that a preliminary inquiry was under way following a request for an investigation into the matter made by Democratic Alliance MP Gavin Davis following City Press’ report.

Parliament’s legal unit is preparing a legal opinion on whether there is a case for an inquiry, whether there is a prima facie case against Tshabalala and whether the portfolio committee has the competency to conduct such an inquiry.

The Broadcasting Act gives the portfolio committee powers to investigate and unseat SABC board members in certain situations.

The committee heard yesterday that Parliament’s legal unit has requested Tshabalala’s response to the claims.

Initially she was given until August 12 to respond, but this deadline has been extended to Monday.

Tshabalala has not responded to repeated requests for comment from City Press.

The claims of her Unisa qualifications have been circulated widely on corporate directory websites such as Bloomberg and Inet BFA, and also appear on the Transnet website. She is a nonexecutive director of Transnet.

Subsequent to the City Press article, Tshabalala’s personal profile on the online networking site WhosWho SA, which also contained the Unisa claim, was deleted.

City Press requested information on Tshabalala’s qualifications under the Promotion of Access to Information Act, and was informed that Tshabalala had no qualification from the institution.

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