A DA MP has claimed that South Africa's new police minister dropped out of high school and has no further education. Only part of the claim is true.
Police Minister Nathi Nhleko has a master’s degree from Leeds Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom, contradicting a claim by a Democratic Alliance (DA) MP that he “left school somewhere in standard nine [and] has no further education”.
DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard raised the issue of Nhleko’s academic qualifications during the debate on his first budget vote speech as police minister.
“I looked at his slim CV,” she said, “and it took me a while to dig out some background information”.
“He seems, from what I have seen, to have left school somewhere in standard nine [and] has no further education – yet he mysteriously ended up as the [director general] for labour.” Nhleko held the position of director general of the labour department until his appointment as police minister earlier this year.
In the spotlight
Kohler Barnard’s comments come in the wake of damaging revelations about the CVs of a number of prominent public figures in South Africa.
Earlier this year Africa Check reported that an official profile of Thandi Modise – then the premier of North West province and now the chairperson of the National Council of Provinces – was riddled with false claims and inaccuracies.
In February, South Africa’s public protector Thuli Madonsela found that Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the chief operating officer of the SABC, had fraudulently misrepresented his qualifications.
And, more recently, the City Press newspaper reported that SABC chairperson, Ellen Tshabalala, had also lied on her CV.
In response to Kohler Barnard’s accusations, Nhleko insisted that he had a masters in leadership and change management with the Leeds Metropolitan University (Leeds Met) in the UK and a national diploma in labour law at an honours level with the Graduate Institute of Management and Technology (GIMT).
On Friday, he sent Africa Check certified copies of his qualifications from Leeds Met and the graduate institute.
A Leeds Met press officer also confirmed that Nhleko had been awarded a master’s degree in leadership and change management on June 21 2012.
Applicants for the Leeds Met degree should have “a second class honours degree or have equivalent experience or training”. But provision is also made for “mature students” who “demonstrate academic potential”.
According to the university’s website, they “usually require some evidence of recent academic study, for example completion of an access course, however relevant work and life experience may also be considered.”
Nhleko’s labour law diploma is dated April 20 2007.
The GIMT however no longer exists and has been “de-registered” from the department of higher education and training’s register of private higher education institutions. The company itself appears to have been liquidated.
Didn’t finish high school
Kohler Barnard was correct in one respect. Nhleko didn’t finish high school. His spokesperson Musa Zondi told Africa Check that the minister had not completed his matric.
A copy of Nhleko’s detailed nine-page CV states that he attended Amangwe High School from 1982 to 1986, the year in which the apartheid government’s state of emergency was at its height. It notes that he failed matric twice and did not sit the exam a third time because he had been detained without trial.
Asked how she had concluded that Nhleko “has no further education”, Kohler Barnard told Africa Check she had relied on a profile published on the Who’s Who Southern Africa website.
“I typed in ‘Nathi Nhleko CV’ and I looked at the first CV that came up. It only listed one entry under his educational qualifications.” That entry is for Amangwe High School.
Differing versions of Nhleko’s qualifications appear on various websites.
A LinkedIn profile, for instance, lists his academic achievements as “Ziphozonke Secondary and Amangwe High Schools, Leeds University, and Global Management Technologies”.
However, his official government biography states only that Nhleko “holds a diploma in labour law from the Graduate Institute of Management and Technology” and makes no mention of his schooling or master’s degree. – Africa Check
Africa Check is a non-profit fact-checking website. You can find them at AfricaCheck.org or on Twitter @AfricaCheck.