Tshabalala inquiry chair 'very confident' on suspension

Zuma received a letter from Baleka Mbete at the weekend requesting he suspend Tshabalala.

FILE: SABC board chair Ellen Tshabalala. Picture: SABC.

CAPE TOWN - The chairperson of Parliament's Communications Portfolio Committee says she is "very confident" President Jacob Zuma will suspend embattled South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) chair Ellen Tshabalala.

The president received a letter from National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete at the weekend requesting he suspend Tshabalala, after the committee found her guilty on two misconduct charges following an inquiry into her qualifications.

Earlier this month, Parliament's Communications Portfolio committee found Tshabalala did not have the BComm degree and post graduate diploma in labour relations from the University of South Africa (Unisa) she claimed to have and that she lied when she made a sworn statement saying her certificates were stolen when her home was burgled.

Parliament's Communications Portfolio Committee says Tshabalala must be removed from her post, a decision that first has to be ratified by the National Assembly.

The committee has called for Tshabalala to be suspended until that happens early next year.

The National Assembly still has to formally adopt the committee's recommendation that Tshabalala be fired.

Portfolio committee chairperson Joyce Moloi-Moropa says in the meantime, the president must suspend her.

"While we are waiting to process the recommendation to remove her from the board, she can in the meantime be suspended. The suspension then goes straight to the speaker and does not have to wait for the house."

Unisa says Tshabalala did register with the institution but failed dismally and did not qualify to reregister for one of the courses.

She however insists Unisa's computer records are unreliable.

Tshabalala has 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 BComm 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.

Meanwhile, the DA has laid a charge of perjury against Tshabalala.