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Fate of Ellen Tshabalala now in Zuma's hands

The request comes from National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete.

The South African Broadcasting Corporation's chairperson Ellen Zandile Tshabalala. Picture: SABC.

JOHANNEBSURG - The Presidency has confirmed President Jacob Zuma is considering a request to suspend SABC chairwoman Ellen Tshabalala.

The request comes from National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete.

This follows the outcome of an inquiry by Parliament's communications portfolio committee into Tshabalala's alleged misrepresentation of qualifications.

The parliamentary inquiry found Tshabalala did not have the degree and diploma she claimed to have and that she lied when she made a sworn statement saying her certificates were stolen when her home was burgled.

The presidency's Mac Maharaj says, "President Jacob Zuma has received a letter from the speaker of the National Assembly, Miss Baleka Mbete, asking him to consider suspending the chairperson of the Board of the SABC, miss Ellen Tshabalala."

During a press briefing at the national broadcaster's offices in Johannesburg earlier this month, Tshabalala said there's an agenda against her and she will prove she has the academic qualifications.

Tshabalala said it's clear the committee had already made up their minds before asking her about her qualifications or making sure she was available for the inquiry.

She said she has been battling to get her academic record for some time and the problem lies with the University of South Africa.

Tshabalala also indicated that she will not step down as the SABC's board chairperson saying she is not guilty of anything.

Evidence by Unisa's Jan van Wyk was that Tshabalala received neither the B.Comm nor a post graduate Diploma in Labour Relations she claimed to have.

"From Unisa's records, there are no qualifications, irrespective of whatever was said about this person."

He said Unisa's files showed that Tshabalala had six modules to complete for her diploma in labour relations.

She passed two, failed two and did not write two others, but was allowed to write them again the following January.

Tshabalala's academic performance was so poor, Unisa refused to readmit her for a second shot at the diploma, where she scored 13 percent in one module and 35 percent in another.