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Economist Thabi Leoka Sparks Drama Over Qualifications Following Report



Thabi Leoka

Economist Thabi Leoka finds herself amid controversy following a Business Day report that questions the validity of her doctoral qualifications. According to IOL, the expose suggests that falsified credentials played a role in her removal from the Remgro board, a company owned by billionaire Johann Rupert. Leoka vehemently denies the accusations and plans legal action against Business Day. She asserts that her departure from the board was due to health reasons.

According to the Business Day report, Leoka allegedly falsified her Economics PhD from the London School of Economics (LSE). The publication claims that the LSE has no record of Leoka holding a PhD in economics. While she holds a Master of Science in Economics from LSE obtained in 2004, the report raises questions about the validity of her doctoral qualifications.

Leoka is a well-respected economist. She holds a prominent position as one of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s special economic envoys. Leoka is also a member of the 19-member presidential economic advisory panel. She is also the founder of her economic consultancy firm, Naha Advisory. The economist has served on boards of major companies, including MTN, Anglo American, Renaissance Capital, Standard Bank, Barclays Wealth, and Investec Asset Management.

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Leoka denied any falsification of qualifications during an interview with Talk Radio 702. She claimed that her change of names with the Department of Home Affairs contributed to the confusion, and her qualifications were registered under a different name. Leoka insisted that she studied economics and history at the London School of Economics and accused Business Day of tarnishing her name.


While Kabelo Khumalo, the Business Day markets editor who broke the story, expressed shock at Leoka’s public claims, she, in turn, asserted that another publication had approached her in December with similar accusations. However, she contends that the article was not published after she provided information regarding her qualifications. Leoka believes a personal vendetta against her and maintains that her departure from Remgro was voluntary due to health reasons, contradicting reports of her being fired.

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Picture: X / BYE_News123

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