Tshabalala's resignation 'long overdue'

Cosatu & the SACP had previously called on Tshabalala to save the SABC from an embarassing spectacle.

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

CAPE TOWN - Tripartite Alliance partners, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the South African Communist Party (SACP), say the resignation of embattled South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board Ellen Tshabalala is long overdue.

Both had previously called on Tshabalala to save the country and public broadcaster from an embarrassing spectacle.

It was announced yesterday that President Jacob Zuma had accepted Tshabalala's resignatio n.

She had been accused of lying about 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.

The SACP's Alex Mashilo says Tshabalala has wasted time and public resources by not stepping down earlier.

"This is long overdue. It also did not have to consume public resources in the form of the processes that are taken both by Parliament and the courts as a result of Ms Tshabalala seeking to prevent the truth."

Cosatu's Patrick Craven says her resignation should mark a turning point for the public broadcaster.

"We hope that a new appointment will be made soon as possible."

Tshabalala's resignation means the National Assembly will no longer have to adopt a report recommending her removal early next year.

Her deputy will now take over as acting chairperson.

TSHABALALA'S WOES FAR FROM OVER

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has laid charges of perjury against Tshabalala for lying under oath that her academic qualifications were stolen during a burglary.

The DA's Gavin Davis says, "A detective has been assigned to the case, so we have every confidence that the South African Police Service is taking this seriously."

Before deciding to step down, Tshabalala appointed controversial SABC Chief Operations Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng as acting chief executive for several days last month.

This despite a court order that he should be suspended pending a disciplinary process.

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

She however insisted Unisa's computer records are unreliable.

Tshabalala had also indicated that she would 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.