In a near-repeat of the Dr Matthew saga, the University of South Africa (UNISA) has distanced itself from an influencer, Phemphero Mphande who claims to have been granted an honorary degree.
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After 2023, it’s fair to say that South Africans will be wiser than ever to imposter graduates. After Dr Matthew Lani, the fake doctor and influencer was exposed as a fraud, the nation is more alert than ever to the threat of fake professionals. In the weeks following the long-running Dr Matthew saga, many bogus professionals have been outed online. The latest incident came on Tuesday 7 November when UNISA exposed one of its recent “graduates” as a fraud.
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UNISA EXPOSES FAKE GRADUATION
The Dr Matthew saga has made Universities across the country more vigilant of fake graduates. It took UNISA less than 48 hours to not only track but discredit a social media post from a Malawian influencer who claimed that he had been granted an honourary doctorate degree for his humanitarian work.
Influencer and author, Phemphero Mphande recently took to social media to reveal that he had been awarded a doctorate degree in community development. He wrote on social media, “This Honorary PhD belongs to all of us that do charity work together”
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Less than two days after his initial post, UNISA released a statement distancing themselves from Mphande as well as two other public figures who had previously claimed UNISA degrees. They wrote, “Unisa wishes to state categorically that it has not conferred any such degrees on the trio and that any assertation to this effect is simply not true”
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Awks… https://t.co/n2vMYORqjb pic.twitter.com/Z9vgiQLivi
— Tina (@Tina_Hokwana) November 7, 2023
MPHANDE RESPONDS TO ALLEGATIONS
It didn’t take long for Mphande to respond to the university’s statement. He took to his own social platforms to issue a statement that suggested that he may have been the victim of a scam.
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He wrote, “If UNISA is denying this today, either they are part of a scam or they too are being scammed. I personally would be happy to work with UNISA to get to the bottom of this. Our team will investigate and would love to meet with officials from UNISA to understand how this has happened under their nose for years.”
Statement on UNISA Honorary Doctorate. pic.twitter.com/qNBZPKPsLF
— Pemphero W Mphande (@PempheroMphande) November 7, 2023
Upon learning this information, fans speculated if we were seeing a repeat of a familiar saga. One fan wrote, “Another Dr Matthew” on X, while another added, “Just give it up, go to university and study for a real PhD like the rest of us”