College Principal Now Being Called A 'Fake Prof'

In a time where politicians and other 'very important people' are receiving slander for fake qualifications, we present to you, 'Prof' Marianna Phutsisi, as she'd like you to call her. Phutsisi has now landed in hot water after it was found that her Professor title was not legitimate.

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Marianna Phutsisi is now being labelled as a 'fake prof' after it was found that her Professor title was not entirely valid.

The 'Prof' is the head of Motheo TVET College in Mangaung, Free State, who she says had no problem with her 'title', and received her Professor title in December 2018.

Phutsisi is said to have been conferred the title of "honorary professor" by the Academic Union Oxford (AUO). However, after investigating, it was found that the AUO is known for selling fake degrees.

Sunday Times reported that the AUO is owned by Europe Business Assembly (EBA). Here are a few facts about EBA:

  • They are not linked to the prestigious Oxford University
  • They are an unknown Ukranian-owned enterprise
  • They are run by a father and son from a house

So where does the 'Oxford' in Academic Union Oxford come from? Well, the house the EBA is run from is located in Oxford. Once again, no ties to the actual Oxford University.

Ben Winks, Counsel for the Sunday Times, said:

It's not a university and it confers on people the title of professor if they pay enough money for it.

Sunday Times reported that according to the AUO website, honourary professorships are normally unpaid but title holders can make voluntary donations to help support its programmes.

The EBA also explained that the honourary titles held by academics through them are now academic degrees and that no fees are involved.

This fiasco even went as far as Umalusi, the country's Quality Assurance Council, investigating whether Phutsisi could actually use the title. This took place as she wanted to use the title in work involving Umalusi, which Phutsisi was a council member of.

Umalusi then recommended that she should not use the title in relation to her work at Umalusi. She resigned from the council in February 2020.

Another investigation was done by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAWA) and they found the AUO to be illegitimate and not recognised as an institution.

Joe Samuels, former CEO of SAQA, then confirmed:

... its awards would not be recognised by SAQA.

The Department of Higher Education was not aware of Phutsisi using the title.

Phutsisi, in defending her usage of the title, said, "whenever I would correspond in formal communications, that will be clearly indicated that the said title is conferred and no qualified".

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