One of South Africa’s largest telecommunications companies, MTN South Africa has announced that it has accepted the resignation of Thabi Leoka, who came under fire last week after her qualifications were called into question.
Leoka was accused of faking her PhD degree which she purportedly attained from the London School of Economics (LSE).
Leoka, who served as economic advisor to President Cyril Ramaphosa, is said to have only a Master’s degree.
In a statement released on Monday, MTN said it had accepted the resignation of independent non-executive director Leoka, effective immediately.
“Leoka joined the board of the MTN Group subsidiary in 2019. She resigned to attend to her health and the questions she has been facing concerning her academic qualifications,” the company further stated.
It has also been reported that Leoka has left the board of mining giant Amplats.
Independent Media reported that the economist has denied she falsified her doctoral qualifications after an expose by a business publication which claimed it was one of the reasons she had been axed from the board of Remgro, a company owned by billionaire Johann Rupert.
Leoka has indicated that she will be taking legal action against “Business Day” for publishing the claims on Tuesday. She said she left Remgro for health-related reasons.
In Leoka’s defence, Msibi pointed out that even the founder of Remgro, Johann Rupert, was a university drop-out. A qualification beyond the first two degrees added little to one’s capabilities, he added.