Investigation into Ellen Tshabalala's qualifications continues

The committee wants to conclude its investigation into allegations that Ellen Tshabalala lied about her qualifications by the end of the year. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

The committee wants to conclude its investigation into allegations that Ellen Tshabalala lied about her qualifications by the end of the year. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

MPs felt vindicated by Wednesday’s Cape Town high court ruling refusing SABC chair Ellen Tshabalala an order to halt the continuation of a parliamentary inquiry into whether or not she lied about her qualifications.

“We are vindicated. What it means for us is that we can proceed with our work,” said communications portfolio committee chair Joyce Moloi-Moropa, who attended court to hear the ruling.

“We are actually glad it reached this point where it’s out of court and it’s back to us.”

Judge Elizabeth Baartman did not immediately provide full reasons for her judgment, merely stating: “Order for relief [is] refused and [there is] no order on costs.”

MPs from the communications committee were expected to meet on Wednesday afternoon to chart a way forward.

They were keen to see the matter finalised before the end of the year. “In our opinion, we’d really like to clear it this year still,” said Moloi-Moropa. “We’ll just look into all the details of the judgment and take it up from there.”

Democratic Alliance MP Gavin Davis said the judgment was not surprising. “We knew that Ms Tshabalala was using all sorts of delaying tactics to try and stall the process,” said Davis.

“The judge has obviously seen through those tactics and we will resume in Parliament [with the inquiry] at the earliest opportunity ... hopefully next week.”

Congress of the People MP Willie Madisha said the ruling was not just a victory for MPs but for all South Africans.

“We would like it to be started as soon as now so that [the] SABC can work.
The SABC is owned by the people of South Africa ... and therefore the people of South Africa have won this thing,” he said.

Tshabalala is accused of lying about her academic qualifications when applying for the job of SABC chairperson.

She stated on her CV that she had a BComm degree from the University of South Africa (Unisa) and a post-graduate degree in labour relations.

Unisa has since said that, according to its records, she has neither of these qualifications. – Sapa

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