Mounting problems for Ellen Tshabalala

The former SABC board chairperson now faces possible criminal charges.

FILE: Ellen Tshabalala. Picture: SABC.

CAPE TOWN - Former South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) chairperson Ellen Tshabalala now faces possible criminal charges for lying about her qualifications.

This as pressure mounts for her to 'pay back the money' earned during her tenure at the public broadcaster.

Tshabalala tendered her resignation to President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says Tshabalala must step down from the board of Moral Regeneration Movement or be fired.

The organisation's mission includes initiating and coordinating programmes to regenerate and preserve the country's moral fibre.

According to its website, the movement's board of directors "consist of men and women who are ordinary citizens of the country, yet together, embody the nature of our ideal character of becoming exemplary through words and deeds."

The DA's Gavin Davis says, "There should be no place for a person who lied about her qualifications on the board of a publicly funded organisation that purports to uphold virtues such as accountability, honesty and integrity."

The official opposition laid charges of perjury against Tshabalala, who previously claimed her academic qualifications were stolen during a burglary.

Davis says a detective has been assigned to the case.

Civil society movement, the SOS Coalition, meanwhile says she must account for her lies.

Spokesperson Sekoetlane Phamodi says, "An example must be made of Tshabalala."

Phamodi says Tshabalala should pay back R936,000 she received at the SABC during the last financial year for chairing 34 board meetings and attending 36 committee meetings.

Tshabalala's earnings are more than double what her predecessor, Ben Ngubane, earned over the same 12-month period during the previous cycle.

The University of South Africa (Unisa) previously revealed Tshabalala neither received a BComm nor a post graduate diploma in labour relations as claimed.

It further emerged she passed two, failed two and did not write two other subjects, but was allowed to write them again the following January.

The university said Tshabalala's academic performance was so poor, Unisa refused to readmit her for a second shot at the diploma.

She obtained 13 percent in one module and 35 percent in another.