MP’s feel vindicated after Tshabalala court ruling

12 November 2014 - 14:09 By Sapa
SABC board chairman Ellen Tshabalala had a BCom degree from the University of South Africa and a postgraduate degree in Labour Relations, but Unisa denied Tshabalala was awarded a degree. Parliament has instituted proceedings to suspend her with immediate effect over allegations that she lied to the institution about her qualifications. File photo
SABC board chairman Ellen Tshabalala had a BCom degree from the University of South Africa and a postgraduate degree in Labour Relations, but Unisa denied Tshabalala was awarded a degree. Parliament has instituted proceedings to suspend her with immediate effect over allegations that she lied to the institution about her qualifications. File photo
Image: PUXLEY MAKGATHO

MPs felt vindicated by Wednesday's Western Cape High Court ruling refusing SABC chairwoman Ellen Tshabalala an order to halt the continuation of a parliamentary inquiry into whether she lied about her qualifications.

"We are vindicated. What it means for us is that we can proceed with our work," said communications portfolio committee chairwoman Joyce Moloi-Moropa who attended court to hear the ruling.

"We are actually glad it reached this point where it's out of court and it's back to us."

Judge Elizabeth Baartman did not immediately provide full reasons for her judgment, merely stating: "Order for relief [is] refused and [there is] no order on costs."

MPs from the communications committee were expected to meet on Wednesday afternoon to chart a way forward.

They were, however, keen to see the matter finalised before year end.

"In our opinion, we'd really like to clear it this year still..." said Moloi-Moropa.

"We'll just look into all the details of the judgment and take it up from there."

Democratic Alliance MP Gavin Davis said the judgment was not surprising.

"We knew that Ms Tshabalala was using all sorts of delaying tactics to try and stall the process," said Davis.

"The judge has obviously seen through those tactics and we will resume in Parliament [with the inquiry] at the earliest opportunity... hopefully next week."

Congress of the People MP Willie Madisha said the ruling was not just a victory for MPs, but for all South Africans.

"We would like it to be started as soon as now so that [the] SABC can work. The SABC is owned by the people of South Africa... and therefore the people of South Africa have won this thing," he said.

Tshabalala is accused of lying about her academic qualifications when applying for the job of SABC chairwoman.

She stated on her CV that she had a BComm degree from the University of SA (Unisa) and a post-graduate degree in labour relations.

Unisa has since stated that, according to its records, she has neither of these qualifications.

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