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Zuma to consider Tshabalala’s suspension

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President Jacob Zuma will consider a request by National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete that SABC chairwoman Ellen Tshabalala be suspended, the presidency said on Saturday.

Spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement Mbete had asked Zuma to consider suspending Tshabalala following the outcome of an inquiry by Parliament’s communications portfolio committee into her alleged misrepresentation of qualifications.

“President Zuma is considering the request,” Maharaj said.

University of South Africa (Unisa) executive director for legal services Jan van Wyk told the inquiry last week that 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 percent for her human resources module, and a score of 35 percent for labour relations.

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

The committee found Tshabalala guilty of two counts of misconduct last Wednesday.

One for claiming she had obtained the two qualifications on her CV when she applied for the job as SABC chairwoman. The other charge relates to an affidavit she submitted to Parliament stating that her qualifications had been stolen during a burglary at her home.

Following the inquiry’s decision, Tshabalala accused the committee of deciding her fate before its inquiry was completed.

She said the committee had requested Zuma suspend her prior to the decision made last Wednesday.

“That says it all. Their decision was taken long ago before the inquiry,” she told reporters in Johannesburg.

She argued, through her lawyer Michael Tillney, that the committee’s decision to recommend that she be removed from office was “procedurally unfair”.

Tshabalala rubbished Van Wyk’s testimony as “hearsay”, saying that Unisa had been having problems with its records and computer system, and they could not be trusted.

She said she had tried numerous times to get a copy of her qualification from Unisa, but had failed because of its computer problem. SAPA

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