SABC board chair to face questions over CV lies

2014-07-20 15:00

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SABC chairperson Ellen Tshabalala faces two separate inquiries – one by Parliament and one by Transnet – after City Press revealed last week she lied on her CV about having qualifications from Unisa.

Newly appointed Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has given Transnet’s board chairman Mafika Mkwanazi 14 days to investigate the claims and report back to her.

Tshabalala has been a nonexecutive member of the Transnet board since 2010. The only qualifications listed in her CV on the Transnet website are a BCom and a postgraduate diploma in labour relations, both from Unisa.

Last week, Unisa said in response to a Promotion of Access to Information request by City Press that Tshabalala holds no qualifications from the university.

City Press sent Tshabalala detailed questions again this week regarding her qualifications and was told by her personal assistance that she was “not in a position to respond”.

On Friday, public enterprises spokesperson Colin Cruywagen said: “Minister Brown has noted the enquiry. She requested the chairperson of Transnet’s board to provide a report on this matter within 14 days.”

Another of the companies Tshabalala is involved with is also asking questions after our investigation.

Sishen Iron Ore chief executive Vusani Malie said Tshabalala was a trustee of the Sishen Iron Ore Community Development Trust.

He said the company also had Tshabalala’s Unisa qualifications on its records, but that a decision on her position couldn’t be taken yet because the trust’s representatives hadn’t been able to make contact with Tshabalala to get her “feedback”.

Tshabalala serves as a director or trustee on several boards. She was a director of Cape Empowerment until its delisting in 2010. Its former chairman Chris Nissen said she had offered “valuable contributions” and had been a “good director”.

Nissen declined to discuss Tshabalala’s qualifications.

Next week, Parliament’s portfolio committee on communications will hear whether it has legal standing to begin an inquiry into Tshabalala under the Broadcasting Act.

Tshabalala was appointed as SABC chair by President Jacob Zuma following interviews by the portfolio committee last year.

In her CV submitted as part of the appointment process, she listed the same two qualifications from Unisa.

This week, DA MP Gavin Davis asked the communications committee chair, Joyce Moloi-Moropa, to investigate Tshabalala’s CV claims.

“If these allegations are true, it would mean that Ms Tshabalala lied to Parliament and could be found guilty of perjury. This alone would be enough for her to be disqualified from the board in terms of section 16 of the Broadcasting Act,” Davis wrote in his letter.

“If Ms Tshabalala denies the allegations, she must make certified copies of the qualifications in question available to the committee for scrutiny.”

Parliament spokesperson Luzuko Jacobs said the query was referred to Parliament’s legal unit and a decision was expected in the coming week.

This week, Tshabalala’s personal profile on the professionals website Who’s Who SA, which contained claims of the Unisa BCom and postgraduate diploma as well as qualifications from Warwick University in the UK, was no longer available.

The website did not respond to a request about the profile’s disappearance.

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