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Tshabalala must prove qualifications: Cosatu, SACP

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SABC chairwoman Ellen Tshabalala must produce proof of her qualifications or immediately step down, Cosatu and the SACP said on Wednesday.

“[She must] save our country and the SABC from this rather embarrassing and shameful spectacle,” the two said in a joint statement.

“Universities have their records and it is very simple to establish facts in this regard.”

The Congress of SA Trade Unions and the SA Communist Party held a bilateral meeting of their national officials and office bearers on Monday.

Tshabalala received a tongue-lashing from MPs on Tuesday for trying to “delay” an inquiry into whether she lied about her qualifications.

Tensions rose when Tshabalala’s advocate Norman Arendse asked Parliament’s communications portfolio committee for a postponement to prepare his client’s defence, as he was only briefed on Monday.

MPs from across the political spectrum reacted with anger, saying Tshabalala had been asked several months ago to furnish Parliament with copies of her qualifications and to brief her lawyers.

Tshabalala faces two charges. She is alleged to be guilty of misconduct in terms of the Broadcasting Act for misrepresenting and/or lying about her qualifications in her curriculum vitae.

She is also accused of lying under oath when she stated her qualifications were stolen during a burglary.

Tshabalala stated in her CV that she had a BCom degree from the University of South Africa (Unisa).

She also claimed to hold a post-graduate degree in labour relations.

Unisa has since stated that its records reflect she has neither of the qualifications.

The SACP and Cosatu on Wednesday cautioned against the use of legal representatives as substitutes for individuals who were expected to appear before portfolio committees.

“We also hope that the costs of expensive lawyers will not be borne by the SABC.

“This a private personal matter where public resources cannot be abused,” they said. SAPA

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