South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) chair Zandile Tshabalala is now claiming that University of SA (Unisa) records were doctored to show that she has no diploma or degree...
A key witness, Unisa’s head of legal services, Jan van Wyk, handed documents to the inquiry that showed the SABC's Tshabalala had registered for a bachelor of commerce degree and a labour relations diploma but failed to attain either qualification as her marks were as low as 13% for some courses. (Image: SABC)
After months of stalling and losing a court battle against Parliament's communications portfolio committee, Tshabalala yesterday ran out of arguments to stop MPs from hearing that she did not have a BComm degree and a diploma in labour relations from Unisa.
The committee probed two charges of misconduct against Tshabalala: for stating on her CV, when she was appointed SABC chair, that she had the two qualifications, and for submitting an affidavit to Parliament stating that proof of her qualifications had been stolen during a burglary at her home.
The committee found her guilty in absentia of misconduct and unanimously resolved to recommend to the National Assembly that she be removed as SABC chair. It will recommend her immediate suspension until her dismissal from the board is deliberated when Parliament reconvenes next year.
She has 14 days to respond to the committee's findings and recommendations.
In a dramatic start to proceedings yesterday Tshabalala's lawyer, Michael Tilney, said she had decided not to attend because she would not be afforded a "fair hearing". He read out an affidavit from Tshabalala saying that she applied for leave to appeal against a high court judgment that dismissed her bid to halt the inquiry.
A key witness, Unisa's head of legal services, Jan van Wyk, handed documents to the inquiry that showed Tshabalala had registered for a bachelor of commerce degree and a labour relations diploma but failed to attain either qualification as her marks were as low as 13% for some courses.
Parliament's legal team had repeatedly flown Van Wyk to Cape Town for the inquiry where he sat outside meeting rooms while Tshabalala fought for delays.
In her affidavit Tshabalala said: "The evidence of Mr Van Wyk constitutes hearsay evidence as ... he drew the information from the Unisa computer system.
"The information contained on the Unisa system is false and incorrect and has been manipulated. I am only able to deal with the evidence of Mr Van Wyk by way of expert testimony, the opportunity for which has been denied by the portfolio committee."
SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the public broadcaster would not be commenting on the outcome of the probe.
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