Chief Operations Officer of the SABC, Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Photo: Motshwari Mofokeng
Chief Operations Officer of the SABC, Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Photo: Motshwari Mofokeng

‘Pastor’ Hlaudi in new scandal

By Botho Molosankwe Time of article published Jul 11, 2014

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Johannesburg - The SABC’s chief operations officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, not only does not have a matric, but a diploma he appears to have obtained from an American institution is not recognised in South Africa.

The South African Qualifications Authority has investigated a claim that Motsoeneng obtained a diploma in “Christian Fellowship” from the Emmanuel Christian Seminary and concluded that the institution’s programme is “not certificated under the SA dispensation”.

It was reported in April that Motsoeneng had been ordained as a priest and awarded a diploma in Christian Fellowship during an external graduation ceremony held at the University of the Free State (UFS). The report also said the diploma was from the Emmanuel Christian Seminary.

The Star has seen a letter from the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) in which its chief executive states that it had undertaken several investigations into the diploma Motsoeneng received and the institution that allegedly awarded it.

Joe Samuels said that the “diploma in Christian Fellowship” was an unknown qualification in South Africa.

This comes as the controversy over Motsoeneng’s permanent appointment as head of the public broadcaster was gathering momentum, with the ANC and Communications Minister Faith Muthambi caught in the middle of the storm.

Samuels also said investigations had revealed that the institution in Tennessee in the US was accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the US and Canada.

“However, it is not on any South African list of accredited institutions and is not registered with the South African Department of Higher Education and Training,” he says in the letter.

Samuels write that the qualification was useless domestically.

“In South Africa, this is not a known qualification and has never been registered on the national Qualification Framework by any institution whatsoever – South Africa or foreign.

“The Emmanuel Christian Seminary only mentions its degree programmes on its website, not diplomas, leading to the conclusion that this type of ‘diploma’ taken via the Emmanuel Christian is a non-formal programme and not a full qualification. In conclusion, Mr Motsoeneng is, indeed, not certificated under the South African dispensation,” Samuels said.

Motsoeneng does not have a matric or other post-matric qualifications, and it was not known how he obtained his diploma because the institution states on its website that its students are graduates from liberal arts colleges, universities and Bible colleges.

The spokeswoman for the University of the Free State, Lacea Loader, said the Emmanuel Christian Seminary rented a venue on the university’s Bloemfontein campus to host its graduation ceremony.

“The ceremony was arranged and executed by the seminary. The seminary is not affiliated with the UFS, and we therefore do not have any information about the qualification Mr Motsoeneng obtained.”

The Star contacted Motsoeneng’s lawyer, Zola Majavu, over the SAQA disclosure about his client’s qualification.

Majavu said he was abroad on behalf of another client and would have to receive instructions from Motsoeneng.

In February, after the public protector released her report which found Motsoeneng guilty of misrepresentation by claiming he had a matric, Majavu said his client did not study for matric as a whole.

He had written “one or two” subjects here and there, including supplementary exams.

Majavu said Motsoeneng had attained certificates through the years, including a National Qualifications Framework level five. “My client has never claimed to have a matric certificate,” he was quoted as saying at the time.

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The Star

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