Committee’s decision unfair – Tshabalala’s lawyer

FILE PICTURE:  Former SABC board chairperson Zandile Tshabalala. Picture: Gallo Images / Daily Sun / Trevor Kunene

FILE PICTURE: Former SABC board chairperson Zandile Tshabalala. Picture: Gallo Images / Daily Sun / Trevor Kunene

The decision by Parliament’s communications portfolio committee to recommend SABC chairwoman Ellen Tshabalala’s removal from office was “procedurally unfair”, her lawyer said on Friday.

“It implies I had a fair hearing. That was not the case,” Tshabalala’s lawyer Michael Tillney said on her behalf in Johannesburg.

“I was not there. The inquiry instituted is a disciplinary inquiry.”

Her legal team had also not been present, even though it was entitled to be there.

“My legal counsel was not available on December 3.”

Requests for a postponement of the inquiry were ignored, said Tillney.

On Wednesday, the committee resolved to call for Tshabalala’s removal from office.

Its inquiry into whether she lied about her academic qualifications found her guilty on two charges of misconduct.

Tshabalala was given 14 working days to respond to the committee’s report, which contained its findings and recommendations. Both documents would then be sent to National Assembly for approval.

The committee made its decision after a University of SA (Unisa) official told the inquiry that records showed Tshabalala had registered for a BCom degree and a labour relations diploma, but had failed to obtain either.

Unisa executive director for legal services Jan van Wyk testified that Tshabalala registered for her BCom degree in 1988 and again in 1996, but did not complete her studies.

She registered for a diploma in labour relations in 1995, when her results were so bad that she could not be readmitted again. She scored 35 percent for a labour relations module and 13 percent for a human resources module.

The first charge of misconduct relates to her stating on her CV that she had obtained the two qualifications when she applied for the job as SABC chairwoman.

The other charge relates to an affidavit she submitted to Parliament stating her certificates were stolen during a burglary at her home.

On Thursday, the Democratic Alliance laid a charge of perjury against Tshabalala for lying about the theft.



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