Nomakhosi Gxagxisa

The eThekwini municipality will investigate whether controversial city health department head Nomakhosi Gxagxisa’s foreign qualification was equivalent to the requirements of her post.

Last year, the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) told The Mercury that Gxagxisa obtained a diploma in medicine from Odessa, Ukraine.

The row over her qualification started after it was found the municipality had employed her although she was not registered with the council, as is required for the post.

Gxagxisa has since been registered with the HPCSA after the local government bargaining council gave the city three months to fix its blunder in employing her last July.

Municipal manager Sibusiso Sithole told the municipal public accounts committee on Thursday that the committee should ask human resources to look at whether Gxagxisa’s foreign qualification was equivalent to the requirements of her post.

“We will do a verification if an employee says they studied abroad. It’s a normal procedure when appointing a staff member,” he said.

But an SA Municipal Workers’ Union representative at the meeting said the union still had issues with Gxagxisa’s foreign qualification.

Sithole said the initial dispute that the union had was regarding Gxagxisa’s registration with the HPCSA.

“I will now look at the issue of the equivalence of her (Gxagxisa’s) qualification… I am trying to avoid an insinuation that her qualification is fraudulent. He who alleges must prove that this person does not have an authentic qualification,” he said.

Previously, Gxagxisa was also accused of nepotism for employing her son, Nceba, in a post that unions said was “created out of thin air”.

Nceba had been appointed to one of three principal clerks’ posts in the health department.

Union members called for an investigation into his appointment.

They said the posts had not been approved by the local labour forum, comprising union and city representatives, and should not have been filled.

Nceba’s post was terminated in October after he failed to produce the qualifications required for the job.

The Mercury was unable to reach Gxagxisa for comment. - The Mercury