NMMU probing professor's CV claims

THE qualifications and academic achievements of Professor Velile Notshulwana, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University's former dean of arts, are being investigated by the institution.

Notshulwana, 54, who was also a regular Herald columnist from 2010 to 2012, must now prove that he actually obtained his PhD from Southern California University as stated in his CV.

An independent two-week investigation by The Herald discovered that Notshulwana:

  • Did not co-author two journal articles published in 2006 and 2010, as stated in the copy of his CV seen by The Herald;
  • Plagiarised huge chunks of other writers' work for at least 24 columns he wrote for The Herald under the banner "Keepin It Real" between January 2011 and December 2012; and
  • Did not work at two research centres abroad as stated in the same CV.

The Herald editor Heather Robertson said she was shocked by the discovery of the plagiarism as Notshulwana was a well-known academic and psychologist, who had also co-hosted The Herald/NMMU dialogues.

"This wilful theft of other people's work from around the world is totally unethical."

Approached for comment, Notshulwana said the matter was under investigation and the subject of a legal battle.

"I'm well aware of what is going on and I strongly believe this is character assassination," he said. "When you are going through a divorce, anything is possible."

He said he was aware of an anonymous force behind the investigation.

"I have instituted legal action against this shadow that has been feeding people private information about me."

Speaking on behalf of NMMU yesterday, deputy vice-chancellor for academics Professor Piet Naude confirmed Notshulwana was being probed for alleged CV fraud.

In a CV seen by The Herald, Notshulwana states that he worked at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Inner City in New Jersey in 2004.

However, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching public affairs associate, vice-president Gay Clyburn, said she had never even heard of him. "We have no record of him having worked here. I don't recall a visiting scholar by that name," she said.

It was further established that the Newark Comprehensive Centre for Fathers, also in New Jersey, where Notshulwana claims to have worked in 2007, was only established in 2008.

On the CV seen by The Herald, Notshulwana claimed to have co- authored Incorporating Spirituality and Religion into the Treatment of African- American Clients with Nancy Boyd-Franklin, and Racism and Invisibility: Race-related Stress, Emotional Abuse and Psychological Trauma for People of Colour with Boyd- Franklin, her husband AJ, and Dr Shalonda Kelly.

The Herald established that he was not one of the authors on either journal. Kelly said of Notshulwana: "I'm sorry, but I do not know this person, and thus have not worked with him." - Kathryn Kimberley, Zandile Mbabela and Michael Kimberley

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