South Africa’s biggest qualification scandals

North West MEC Virginia Tlhapi faces scrutiny over hiring amid allegations of fake qualifications for the development corporation’s CEO and CFO.

Tlhapi has been called out for hiring two people who are senior officials to lead the North West Development Corporation (NWDC).

Accountability demanded: MEC under fire for fake qualifications

North West MEC Tlhaphi held accountable after hiring two senior officials who had as little as no matric and fake qualifications.

The newly appointed NWDC chief executive Mojalefe Nale was flagged for not having matric and also producing fake tertiary qualification so that he can get a higher position.

Kudakwashe Mpofu, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) who was suspended over allegations that he used a fraudulent residence permit, has resigned.

These scandals come from a long line of qualification scandals in South Africa.

Fake qualifications in South Africa

Here are some of the most prominent fake qualification scandals in the government and public service sectors which made headlines recently.

Daniel Mtimkulu

Daniel Mtimkulu was the The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) was head of engineering and lead the team that designed the new Afro 4000 locomotive. The locomotives have been the subject of reports questioning their suitability for local conditions.

Mtimkulu claimed that he had a doctorate in engineering from German university, Prasa ran an investigation on his qualification and he could not be verified and the investigation proved that Mtimkulu was not registered as an engineer and according to Prasa he lied about his qualification.

Pallo Jordan

Pallo Jordan who is an ANC veteran and one of South Africa’s well known politician.

He served as Minister of Post, Telecommunications, and Broadcasting; and as Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.

Jordan’s CV stated that he was ‘Dr Jordan’ and that he studied at the University of Wisconsin in the United States of America in 1962 and he acquired a postgraduate degree from the London School of Economics.

Sunday Times reported that Jordan had no qualification and subsequently apologised and resigned from Parliament and from the ANC’s national executive committee.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng

Motsoeneng claimed to have passed high school in his interview for a position at the SABC.

The Public Protector was requested to look into this matter, and she discovered that Motsoeneng had lied about his qualifications. Despite the Public Protector’s recommendation for his removal from the position.

According to the National Qualifications Framework Amendment Act, misrepresenting qualifications is considered a criminal offense, punishable by a significant fine or imprisonment for up to five years.

Additionally, the National Qualifications Framework advises employers to verify qualifications with the National Learners’ Records Database before hiring potential employees.


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