Cape Town - Economist Chris Hart’s Twitter remarks on black people’s alleged “sense of entitlement and hatred” towards minorities sparked a storm on social media. Now the economist’s academic qualifications are being questioned.
After being suspended by Standard Bank, Hart has gone to ground. But social media users are questioning whether he has an economics qualification at all.
According to reports from DRUM, Hart has no economics degree from Wits University, and only obtained a Bachelor of Commerce in 1996. He reportedly majored in taxation.
His academic transcript, which has been leaked to DRUM, shows that he was academically excluded from the Bachelor of Science degree course in 1983 after failing most of his course several times. According to DRUM he left Wits in 1985 with a Higher Diploma in Education.
Former Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni has reportedly expressed surprise that Hart has no qualification in economics and publicly asked him to confirm or deny this.
While Hart has never claimed to hold an economics degree, or been accused of falsifying such a qualification, but his critics want to know how he ended up as the chief economist at Absa without a qualification in this field.
His successor at his former employer Investment Solutions reportedly has three economics degrees.
Sizwe Nxedlana, FNB’s chief economist, has a Master of Commerce degree in economics, while Dennis Dykes at Nedbank has a Master of Science degree from the London School of Economics.
DRUM got the following comment from Hart: “I am not prepared to engage you on this matter due to the disciplinary (hearing) that is pending. I have been instructed to keep quiet for now.”
But a source close to him told DRUM he never claimed to be an economist, but used the term an “investment strategist looking at economic fundamentals both locally and globally”.