The South African Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Communication has found the Chairperson of the SABC Board Zandile Ellen Tshabalala guilty on all two charges of misrepresenting her academic qualifications and lying under oath.
The committee says it will now recommend for her immediate suspension and removal from the SABC board.
The inquiry took place in Tshabalala’s absence who sent her legal representative to ask for a postponement. The committee resolved to proceed with the inquiry.
One of the witnesses who testified at the inquiry was UNISA’s Executive Director of Legal Services Jan Van Wyk. He testified that according to their records, Tshabalala first registered with UNISA in 1988 for a Bcom degree but she never completed it.
Van Wyk testified that Tshabalala then enrolled at the same university in 1996 for a diploma in Labour Law but she failed the course. Van Wyk also told the committee that Tshabalala had to apply for a conditional exemption to the then Matric Examination Board because her matric results didn’t allow her to enrol at university.
Having realised that there were a number of qualifications listed on her CV I then called Mrs. Tshabalala and requested she sends me the copies of the certified copies of her qualification as listed
Tshabalala submitted an eight page affidavit to the committee which was read out by her legal representative Michael Tilney. In the affidavit, Tshabalala seems to question the authenticity of the UNISA records of her qualifications, claiming they have been manipulated.
Another witness was the Committee’s Secretary Thembinkosi Ngoma who testified that Tshabalala was unable to submit her academic qualifications which were listed on her CV after her nomination for the position of the SABC Board member.
Ngoma says, “After receiving the CV together with the nominations acceptance I looked through the CV to see if there were any other qualifications listed as there were no qualifications attached. And having realised that there were a number of qualifications listed on her CV I then called Ms. Tshabalala and requested she sends me the copies of the certified copies of her qualification as listed. About a day or two later she sent an email containing an affidavit.”
In the affidavit it has been reported that she said her qualifications were stolen during a robbery at her house.
After the testimony of the two witnesses, the evidence leader Advocate Vanara asked the committee to accept the evidence of the witnesses and find Tshabalala guilty on the balance of probabilities.
The committee unanimously resolved to find Tshabalala guilty as charged.
The committee will now submit its finding to the Speaker of the National Assembly recommending to the president for the removal of
Tshabalala from the SABC Board.
It has also decided that it will first give her 14 days to respond to the damning findings against her before the report is submitted to the National Assembly.