Education Minister, Blade Nzimande has ordered an investigation into the allegation of fake qualification against Tebogo Mmotla, one of Seta’s acting chief executive officer.
The Education department received a letter from some disgruntled employees at the Mining Qualifications Authority saying that the acting CEO faked his qualification in corporate governance and strategic management.
The letter, received by Nzimande’s director-general, Gwebs Qonde, earlier this month, asked that Mmotla be suspended for lying about his certificate when applying for Seta’s chief operations officer post in 2014.
This request came after Seta’s former CEO Samuel Seepei commissioned an internal audit report and review of all staff qualifications after Nzimande publicly expressed concern last year over the the increased number of people lying about their qualifications when applying for top jobs.
This was also followed by a report revealing that Mmotla told his bosses he had completed the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants programme in strategic management and corporate governance. But when the internal auditors obtained the statement of credits from the accounting professionals body, they showed he never completed the course.
According to the report dated July 2016, those found guilty of qualification fraud and corruption be fired and criminally charged. However, the board has yet to act against Mmotla.
“Fraud, corruption and related activities presented the most significant potential risk to the Mining Qualifications Authority’s assets, service delivery, efficiency and reputation,” the report found.
“One of those articles that has been utilized to assist in this report states that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa told Parliament that people who misrepresented their academic qualifications to get jobs in the public and private sector should be named, shamed and jailed.”
Moreover, in the letters sent to Qonde, the employees made mention of several grieviances they have against the Acting CEO, accusing him of fraud and corruption.
“This matter was consequently brought to the attention of the minister. He has since written to the board of the mining authority Seta to immediately undertake a thorough investigation into all the matters raised by employees, and to provide him with feedback without any further delay,” says department of higher education and training spokesperson, Madikwe Mabotha.
Acting chairperson of the mining authority’s board Mthokozisi Zondi said it had begun the process of appointing an independent company to investigate the employees’ allegations.
“The board will be able to take appropriate action once the investigation has been completed,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mmotla, who was approached for comment, initially said he needed board approval on the matter, and then later declined to say anything.