Once again, attention is drawn to South African officials who claim to have tertiary education qualifications but do not. Vetting agencies have been hired, but interestingly, the qualifications presented do not exist. The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) recently hired a CEO who claims a Harvard master’s degree that doesn’t exist and demands his staff call him ‘Dr’ Tshepo Mahanuke on the strength of an honorary doctorate you can buy for a small donation.

The Daily Maverick says he goes as far as insisting that senior staff at the JRA address him, and if correspondence is not addressed to him as ‘Dr’ or ‘Professor’, he sends them back, claiming that his academic qualifications are not being respected by staff.

Another recent news24.com article highlighted South African universities’ chaos, corruption, and maladministration. 

Last year, the university of Fort Hare in the Eastern Cape laid criminal charges against Professor Edwin Ijeoma – with whom it has since parted ways – for allegedly admitting and registering two students, including Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane. 

Mabuyane, supervised by Ijeoma, was excluded and deregistered by the university from its master’s programme. The premier had threatened to appeal the decision but never did.

The university also suspended Ijeoma last year after allegations that he had irregularly registered former Eastern Cape health MEC Sindiswa Gomba for an honours degree in public administration, even though she did not have an undergraduate degree.

Sonya Skipp of iFacts said that of grave concern to employers should be the information that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) was set to probe allegations of maladministration in awarding honours degrees at the University of Fort Hare in the Eastern Cape.

Whilst iFacts confirm that 6% of tertiary qualifications verified were invalid, it stressed the need for companies to conduct behavioural and integrity assessments. If a university issues invalid qualifications, this will surely devalue any qualification obtained at the university.

Never take any information on a job application at face value.

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