Union guns for premier’s R1.2 million man over ‘diploma’

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Implicated, Limpopo Premier Stanley Mathabatha.
Implicated, Limpopo Premier Stanley Mathabatha.
Leon Sediki


The Hawks in Limpopo have denied dropping an investigation into the qualifications of a labour relations director who a union claims enjoys protection because he is Premier Stanley Mathabatha’s henchman.

When applying for the job in 2013, labour relations director Michael Maseko claimed that he had a diploma accredited by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) that he obtained after passing modules in substantive law, jurisdictional rulings, conciliations, managing dismissals, and arbitration 1 and 2.

City Press has seen his CV.

Although Maseko held a diploma in labour law and had served as an arbitrator for various councils and even owned a consulting firm, it is not clear why he embellished his qualifications and referred to the course he had attended for five months in 2005, for which he was issued a certificate, as a diploma course.

READ: Sort out your nonsense and get to work – Tshwane residents to councillors

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) laid several charges with the Hawks in 2020 against Mathabatha, claiming that he was aware of fraudulent activities in his office but turned a blind eye to them.

Nehawu approached the CCMA about Maseko’s “diploma”, and the CCMA indicated that the course was an in-house training programme that was not a registered qualification with the SA Qualifications Authority.

“The CCMA is not a higher education institution which can offer a diploma. It offers a commissioners’ training programme, which is assessed as per set criteria,” the CCMA said.

Nehawu members claimed that they were dissatisfied with the Hawks’ snail’s pace in dealing with Maseko’s matter and said that members of the elite police unit had been “captured”.

“The Hawks obtained everything in 2020, but the premier has been defensive about this matter.

A Nehawu member said:

They last told us that they wanted Maseko’s personal file, but time has passed without any action.

“When we raised the matter, Maseko had earned about R1.2 million. Now, he has earned between R6 million and R8 million, including his salary and benefits,” he added.

The relationship between Mathabatha and Nehawu has been frosty, and the union claims that its activists were being targeted for dismissals.

Last week, Limpopo Hawks spokesperson Captain Matimba Maluleke said that the matter was still under investigation.

“There is no delay with investigations, but hiccups pertaining to obtaining necessary documents from the office of the premier. All necessary documents required to assist with the investigation have been acquired. Some will still be sought during the course of an investigation, should a need arise,” Maluleke said.

“The Hawks are not captured,” he added, “we investigate without fear or favour.”

Mathabatha’s spokesperson, Willy Mosoma, said that the office of the premier did not have records stating that Maseko claimed to have qualifications obtained from the CCMA.

READ: Premier fails to support community in battle to get tribal leaders recognised

“Therefore, we dismiss the allegations as unfounded. What we have on record is the fact that Mr Maseko had the necessary qualification, proven by the SA Qualifications Authority, by the time of his appointment on January 1 2013,” Mosoma said.

When directed to look at Maseko’s CV, Mosoma admitted that Maseko typed the CCMA’s certificate as a diploma on his CV.

“Please look at the first qualification Mr Maseko mentioned, the one from the Graduate Institute of Management and Technology, diploma labour law – it is NQF level 6. That alone qualified him for the position, even without the teacher’s diploma and the CCMA certificate.

“What [the premier’s office] did, was to satisfy itself and, on investigation, it was found that the labour law diploma from the Graduate Institute of Management and Technology was legitimate and, itself alone, relevant and sufficient for the position of senior manager: HR, as advertised in 2012,” he said.

Mosoma said that Mathabatha’s office had a working relationship with the Hawks on their investigations and had provided them with necessary documentation and support.

He added:

On the same note, we advise those members of the union to follow up with the Hawks regarding their case against Mr Maseko, if they have any.

“In addition, we call upon those members of the union who continue to tarnish the name of the premier and the provincial government to desist from such unwarranted acts and concentrate on the mandate of government which is the delivery of basic services to the people.”


Have you experienced a situation in which you suspect that civil servants are not qualified for their jobs, and what have you done about it?

SMS us on 35697 using the keyword QUALIFY and tell us what you think.

Please include your name and province. SMSes cost R1.50. By participating, you agree to receive occasional marketing material

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()
Latest issue
Latest issue
All the news from City Press in PDF form.
Read now
Voting Booth
Stats SA's recent consumer price index data this week indicated the rise in food prices was the largest in 14 years. Economists say continued load shedding also adds to the rise in the cost of food production. How are you feeding your family during this tough time?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
I have a food garden
7% - 59 votes
I rely on sales
22% - 193 votes
I buy necessities
72% - 642 votes