Saldanha Bay mayor Marius Koen is set to be hauled before a hearing at the end of this month. Picture: Marius Koen/Facebook
Saldanha Bay mayor Marius Koen is set to be hauled before a hearing at the end of this month. Picture: Marius Koen/Facebook

DA mayor faces hearing over degree saga

By Athandile Siyo Time of article published Jun 15, 2021

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AS THE DA continues to grapple with qualification scandals involving its members, Saldanha Bay mayor Marius Koen is set to be hauled before a hearing at the end of this month.

Koen’s hearing follows a probe into the legitimacy of an MBA qualification that he is said to have obtained at Hull University in 1999.

DA’s Federal Council chair Helen Zille said on Monday: “The case is ready and the hearing is set down for the end of this month.”

This comes a day after the ANC said that it had laid charges of fraud against mayco member of safety and security JP Smith.

Smith’s alleged misrepresentation of an honours degree from Stellenbosch University recently came under the microscope when the Weekend Argus revealed that he had campaigned using false qualifications at the party’s 2017 provincial congress where he was re-elected as DA Western Cape provincial deputy chairperson. It is also alleged the qualification appeared in a biography sent by his personal assistant to the organisers of the Music Exchange conference where he was a guest speaker in 2019.

Smith said that the ANC was wasting police resources by laying charges as he had clarified that the issue was a clerical error.

“They are just trying to give the story legs because I have given a response about this that it was a clerical error. But if this is how the ANC wants to go about this, then it’s fine. However, I have my colleagues who also today were talking about laying charges against some of the ANC members. I can easily explain my issue, but I'm just not sure if their members can,” he said.

ANC leader of the opposition Cameron Dugmore said: “The DA is a deeply divided party. They have one set of rules for black members and one set of rules for white members. Why was it that former MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela was dealt with immediately by the premier and he is now not a MEC but also not a member of Parliament.

“We have JP Smith who on at least two occasions misrepresented his qualifications, yet he remains in office. It depends on race and to which faction you belong,” said Dugmore.

Police yesterday did not confirm whether a case had been opened.

Meanwhile, police said they were still investigating the fraud case opened against former transport MEC and DA provincial leader Madikizela.

Spokesperson André Traut said: “The case is still under police investigation and there are no new developments to report at this stage.”

The Good party opened the case after Madikizela admitted to falsifying a BCom degree in human resources.

Premier Alan Winde suspended Madikizela, but the former MEC resigned shortly afterwards as both MEC and member of Parliament.

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