President Cyril Ramaphosa will not remove Public Service and Administration Minister Noxolo Kiviet from his Cabinet amid allegations that she holds two fraudulently acquired degrees from the University of Fort Hare.
Instead, he will wait for the conclusion of a Special Investigating Unit (SIU) probe into allegations of a degree-conferring scam.
This comes after News24 exclusively reported that the Eastern Cape university submitted an affidavit to the SIU alleging that Kiviet had registered and obtained her honours and master's in public administration without a junior degree.
The affidavit, signed by a senior official of the university, was submitted as part of evidence to the SIU, which is investigating the alleged degree-conferring scam at the university.
It was Ramaphosa who authorised the SIU investigation after the university's current vice-chancellor, Professor Sakhela Buhlungu, reported fraud, allegedly under his predecessors, to the president.
Asked if the president would take action against Kiviet, Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said, "The SIU is investigating the unlawful awarding of qualifications, amongst other areas of their investigation. The president will await the outcome of this investigation."
Magwenya added that there hasn't been any official communication from the university to the president.
In a document to the SIU, the university claimed that when Kiviet registered for her honours, she was only in possession of a matric certificate and had a non-credit-bearing short-course certificate with handwritten results.
Kiviet served as the premier of the Eastern Cape from 2009 to 2014. She also served as the speaker of the Eastern Cape legislature.
She is one of only two women who served as premier of the province.
Her public profile states that she earned her Bachelor of Administration (B. Admin) and B. Admin Honours degrees from the University of Fort Hare. It also states that she was a notable graduate of the university in 2010, with a master's degree in public administration.
Kiviet has denied the allegations and prides herself for having attended the university.
The African National Congress in the Eastern Cape said it was not convinced that Kiviet had obtained her qualifications fraudulently.
But opposition parties are calling for her head. The Economic Freedom Fighters called on all institutions of higher learning to blacklist her and the United Democratic Movement wants her to be jailed.
The prestigious university has already deregistered Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane as well as axed health MEC Sindiswa Gomba, following allegations that they had registered for master's and honours programmes without bridging degrees.
They were both found to have been admitted by the former head of the university's Bhisho satellite campus, Professor Edwin Ijeoma, who the university found guilty of recruiting undeserving public servants and politicians for degrees in administration for personal gain.
The university booted 15 public servants from its postgraduate programmes after the removal of Mabuyane and Gomba.
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