Tshwane head of emergency services faces fraud charges over 'false' qualifications

11 September 2019 - 19:31
By Tankiso Makhetha
Former City of Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga's admistration appointed Previn Govender as head of emergency services despite questionable qualifications.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi Former City of Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga's admistration appointed Previn Govender as head of emergency services despite questionable qualifications.

Tshwane head of emergency services, Previn Govender, could find himself behind bars for allegedly falsifying his qualifications.

Govender found himself entangled in a scandal involving his qualifications last year after the South African Municipal Workers' Union wrote to former Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga.

A police insider close to the investigation told SowetanLIVE on Wednesday that a case of fraud was being investigated against Govender and that an arrest was imminent.

Spokesperson Capt Augustinah Selepe, however, refused to reveal the identity of the suspect.

“I cannot confirm whether that is the name of the suspect, but a case of fraud is being investigated,” Selepe said.

Govender had not responded to Sowetan's request for comment following numerous attempts to get hold of him.

He was appointed to the position which has an annual salary of more then R1.2m in August 2017.

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His highest qualification, according to his CV are an advanced (associate) diploma in fire technology obtained at the Southern African Emergency Services Institute (Saesi) in 1996.

He also has a graduate diploma in fire engineering science from the Institution of Fire Engineers in the UK, which he obtained in December of the same year. 

The minimum requirement for the chief of emergency services post was a bachelor's degree (NQF 7).

Sowetan reported in August last year that Govender stated that his Saesi diploma was an NQF Level 7 qualification.

The SA Qualification Authority (SAQA) had, however, disputed the level of one of his qualifications, saying the Saesi diploma is not an NQF-registered qualification and therefore cannot be assigned an NQF level.

SAQA’s CEO Joe Samuels said at the time that Saesi was a professional body recognised by SAQA, but said the advanced diploma was an in-house qualification historically offered by Saesi.

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