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Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor


‘I did not misrepresent my qualifications,’ says former Remgro director Thabi Leoka

She said she also 'opted' to not be renominated at Remgro due to health reasons.


Economist and former Remgro director Thabi Leoka has dismissed claims that she misrepresented her qualifications, vowing to take legal action.

This after Business Day on Tuesday alleged that Leoka, who serves on several boards of companies including Anglo American Platinum does not hold a PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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According to the report, while the scandal was reported to have been the reason Johann Rupert’s Remgro withdrew her appointment before its AGM in December, the company would not disclose the reasons for the withdrawal.

According to the chairman’s report on the Remgro website, Leoka was appointed as an independent non-executive director of Remgro, on 22 March 2023.

Said Rupert at the time: “Dr Leoka has considerable experience in the areas of finance, and a passion for emerging markets and African economies. She obtained her PhD and MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, holds an MA in Economic Development and International Trade and a BA in Social Science, both from Witwatersrand University.

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“Dr Leoka has already provided valuable insights and input during her short tenure, and we look forward to her continued contribution to Remgro while serving on the Board.”

‘I changed my names’

In an interview with Clement Manyathela on 702 on Tuesday morning, Leoka insisted she holds a PhD in Economics from the LSE.

She said she also “opted” to not be renominated at Remgro due to health reasons.

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“No, I did not misrepresent my qualifications,” she said.

“The reason I left Remgro, I opted not to be renominated was for health issues, that’s why the report says ‘for personal reasons’. There was no firing. Most people would not like to discuss the ailment publicly. I have glaucoma and degenerative glaucoma. That’s why I’m in the US, to seek medical intervention here. This is why I opted not to be renominated. Remgro did ask me to stay on,” she said.

“I do hold a PHD in Economics from the university. I did economic history and economics.”

The reason people have not been able to find her PhD record is because they have been using the wrong names for the search, she said.

According to a government gazette published on 29 March 2018, Leoka did change her name from Bathabile Leoka to Thabi Leoka.

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“They didn’t use my full name, without using the right names, the school wouldn’t verify or confirm a name that is incomplete or not on their system. I changed my name with Home Affairs.”

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