Mbangwa’s degree debacle

2010-10-04 00:00

THE head of communications in the KwaZulu-Natal Health Department, Leon Mbangwa, was forced to resign on Friday after failing to produce an original copy of his master’s degree in public administration.

This came during a disciplinary hearing instituted a long time after Mbangwa had failed to produce the certificate, which he is alleged to have obtained in Zimbabwe.

A source in the department said Mbangwa has been requested on numerous occasions to produce the certificate, but has failed to do so. “The department contacted the university and it was discovered that he did not complete his studies and thus could not be in possession of the said certificate,” said the source.

The move comes at a time when the department has intensified its fight against corruption, fraud and similar acts of misconduct by its members.

A number of senior officials have resigned following charges being brought against them, while others are on suspension.

“A number of people who are depriving citizens who rely on public health of what is rightfully theirs will be arrested soon. We are not turning back on our resolve to rooting out corruption in the department,” spokesperson Chris Maxon said.

Mbangwa’s legal representative, Michelle Naidoo, said her client was not forced to resign.

“It was his personal decision to resign as both parties would have pursued the matter further. He felt that his employment relationship with the employer is compromised,” said Naidoo.

Last year The Witness reported that Mbangwa was alleged to be in SA illegally. He had said in an affidavit that he has been living in the country for 20 years since entering as an exile in 1989, after being trained by Mkhonto weSizwe. His mother, Mabel Mbangwa, was a South African and his father, Luke Mabaso, was Zimbabwean, but he regards himself as South African. He was born in Zimbabwe.

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