MASERU — The director of a South Africa private college, Monyenyetsi Consultancy, has rejected charges that his college is bogus.
In an email to this newspaper, Dr Ransford Antwi insisted there was nothing bogus about his college as it is a legally registered entity.
The college is at the centre of row between Communications Minister Tšeliso Mokhosi and suspended Principal Secretary Nokhululeko Zaly.
Zaly was suspended last month after she, among other things, tried to pay a M39 000 fee for a feature writing course for a local journalist, Makhetha Motšoari, run by Monyenyetsi Consultancy.
She is expected to be hauled before a disciplinary tribunal to answer charges of misconduct.
Mokhosi has been adamant in previous interviews that the college does not exist.
If it is proved that Zaly attempted to pay for a course that did not exist she might be arrested and prosecuted for fraud.
But this week the story took a fresh twist after Dr Antwi confirmed that the college’s existence.
In an email sent to this paper, Dr Antwi said he “invited journalists from Lesotho to several of our courses but I don’t think we ever got a participant from that country”.
“We sent those who showed interest our quotations but no payment was received and no services were rendered by us.”
Motšoari is said to have applied for a short feature writing course.
The course would have been held on March 11 to 22, 2013.
Dr Antwi was among the pioneer lecturers in a mass communication programme at the National University of Lesotho’s Institute of Extra Mural Studies.
Dr Antwi is also known for managing many short media courses at the Sadc-Nordic Journalism Training Trust, which draws reputable lecturers from Wits University and other institutions.
The Sunday Express heard this week that Monyenyetsi Consultancy is a registered entity in South Africa and its registration number is 2008/146983/23.
In a letter of invitation for applicants seen by the Sunday Express, written on February 22, 2013, Dr Antwi said his company was founded by “experienced print and electronic media practitioners to undertake mid-career training of journalists and other media practitioners”.
“The company is accredited by the MICT Seta to offer skills training and the National Certificate in Journalism qualification.
“We also offer tailor-made courses specifically designed to meet the peculiar needs of your organisation. We have attached our BBBEEE Certificate and rating should your organisation require such information.”
THE tuition fee per participant was M14 000 while accommodation and meals would be provided for at an extra fee.
“I don’t think I have met the minister before, neither has s/he asked me about the status of Monyenyetsi Consultancy cc. To describe Monyenyetsi as bogus when s/he does not have any clue about our activities is quite unfortunate,” Dr Antwi said.
“In Lesotho, Monyenyetsi has consulted for SOS Children’s Villages and its Family Strengthening Programmes on a couple of projects in Lithabaneng and Quthing.”
“Monyenyetsi is accredited by the MICT Seta.
“We recently completed a 10-month training of 12 Community Radio Journalists from seven provinces in South Africa. We are now issuing successful candidates with the National Certificate in Journalism”.
“As a consultancy we do invite organisations from time to time to announce possible courses. We run only when we have trainees, otherwise we don’t.
We are at liberty to run a course even for one participant, if we have the time to do so.”
Dr Antwi said he is now teaching at a university in his home country, Ghana, and Monyenyetsi has moved its office to Mafikeng in South Africa where it is led by his partner, Professor Buabeng Assan.
But Mokhosi last week insisted that the college was bogus.
Mokhosi told this paper last week that his ministry had checked and found that even the physical address shown on the invitation letter was a private residence whose owner disowned the company.
“Take it from me, that that Monyenyetsi is a bogus college, it does not exist,” Mokhosi said.
Monyenyetsi’s physical address, which Mokhosi says is a private residence, is 54 Andries Bruyn Street, Horizon, 1724 South Africa.
Mokhosi says the invitation letter could not have been written by Dr Antwi.
Dr. Antwi has this to say: “The ETQA at MICT Seta is fully aware of our new office address and contact details in Mafikeng. Prof Assan is running Monyenyetsi from that side.
“I can even forward a copy of the email I sent to the MICT SETA regarding the relocation of Monyenyetsi, if you require that.”