State officials ‘lie’ about qualifications

2011-05-28 16:33

Six senior government officials – including Census 2011 boss Kefiloe Masiteng – allegedly lied about their academic qualifications.

Masiteng, who is the StatsSA deputy director-general responsible for population and social statistics and is also a member of the Census 2011 steering committee, falsely claimed to have a post-graduate diploma in epidemiology and biostatistics from Wits University, according to a parliamentary reply by Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi.

Other officials fingered in the verification of qualifications by the South African Qualifications Authority since this procedure started in August 2009 include:

» Sipho Zikode, who was appointed deputy director-general of the empowerment and enterprise development division by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies last month.

» Nellie Agingu-Lester, deputy director-general for urban and rural development of the cooperative governance and traditional affairs department.

» Fikiswa Mayende, Agingu-Lester’s colleague at the co-operative governance and traditional affairs department.

» Curtis Mabena, a former ANC MP and water affairs official .

» Dr Ashwin Hurribunce, a former medical practitioner at the Prince Mshiyeni Memorial, RK Khan and King Edward VIII hospitals – all in Durban – and Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto.

Zikode, now government’s top small business policy official, completed his matric in 1984 at Menzi High School in uMlazi, outside Durban, and allegedly changed his Afrikaans symbol from an F to E on his matric certificate.

With this certificate Zikode went on to obtain a National Diploma in chemical engineering from Mangosuthu Technikon, a B.Comm degree from Wits University, a University of Pretoria MBA and a post-graduate diploma in marketing management from the University of SA.

He later managed government’s R103 billion industrial participation programme – the arms deal offset programme, which government claimed at the time would create more than 65 000 jobs and bring in R110 billion in investments.

Agingu-Lester allegedly claimed to have an Executive MBA from the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business, while Mayende claimed she had a higher diploma in education from the University of the Western Cape, according to the parliamentary reply.

Mabena claimed to have an honours degree in comparative studies and development management.

Hurribunce, a member of the team that drafted the ANC’s reconstruction and development programme and health plan, claimed he had a masters in medicine from Wits University, which he allegedly never completed.

Hurribunce was head of security and health during former president Nelson Mandela’s inauguration.

Apology: we didn’t follow through

In the article “State officials ‘lie’ about qualifications,” (City Press, 29 May 2011), we quoted a parliamentary reply by Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi.

In it, the minister said six senior government officials had failed a verification of qualification by the SA Qualifications Authority.

One of them was allegedly Ashwin Hurribunce.

Hurribunce has pointed out that his CV has always reflected his qualification from Wits as incomplete because his thesis is outstanding.

He was in the employ of the department of defence from 1994 to 2006 and not during the period of the review conducted by an external hired entity, and was reporting to the minister at the time.

City Press did not contact Mr Hurribunce to get his comment on the parliamentary answer.

We apologise for failing to do so.

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