Former prison warden Arthur Fraser’s attorney Eric Mabuza released a statement condemning investigative journalist and author Jacques Pauw’s City Press article titled Oh dear Mr Fraser you lied† where he (Pauw) made damning accusations about Fraser’s qualifications.
Just days after News24 published an article asking questions Fraser’s alleged grip on state security (SSA) urgencyafter ordering Pauw to hand over copies of “classified state security documents”, which he used in his book, The Guardians of the President†
Last year, Fraser wrote to President Cyril Ramaphosa and Acting Director General of the SSA Tony ‘Gab’ Msimanga informing them of Pauw’s possession of classified documents.
Last Monday, Pauw and his lawyer Willem de Klerk returned the documents and criticized the SSA for its lack of transparency.
Pauw wrote this on Sunday during his research for the follow-up book of The Guardians of the Presidenthe discovered that Fraser never set foot in the University of London.
He went on to say that the institution does not offer a film and video production course.
He said he sent questions to correctional services spokesman Singabakho Nxumalo during the investigation in 2020, but never received an answer to his question.
“In the 2000s I befriended a British journalist who had since entered academia. He confirmed to me that no foreign student by the name of Arthur Joseph Peter Fraser had ever studied at the University of London,” wrote Pauw.
“This week News24 emailed Fraser’s attorney Eric Mabuza…a series of questions, asking for proof of his qualification and explanation of the changes to his resume. We asked him whether he has maintained a BA (Hons) degree from London University during his civil service career? Or was it the “London Institute”? We also wanted to know if he had issued verified credentials to the various state departments, including the SSA, where he required the highest security clearance.
“Unless Fraser can present a certified diploma from a higher education institution that no one has ever heard of, he will join this odious group of the South’s prominent South Africans who have screwed up their qualifications.”
Lies, lies and more lies
Mabuza said Monday that his client Pauw did not owe an explanation and accused him (Pauw) of writing the article only to divert attention from his abusive behavior.
“For the record, these allegations are not only false, but also vindictive,” Mabuza said.
“It is a fabrication designed in retaliation for violating the law in which he was recently discovered by the SSA in unlawful possession of state documents.”
Mabuza said there was a reason why the government, including the cabinet, should have verified Fraser’s good faith and qualifications.
“It is therefore preposterous and shameful for Mr Pauw and the City Press to suggest that Mr Fraser does not have the qualifications listed in his official resume.”
Mabuza added in the statement a confirmation letter from the University of the Arts London, stating that his client had obtained a (BA) Honors in Film and Television in 1995.
He said any member of the public was free to contact the university registrar for verification of qualification.
Pauw said that during his research he could not find the ‘London Institute’ in a list of all 18 universities in London.
“The British Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) does not name a London Institute. Neither does the Study-UK British Council or the UK Council for International Student Affairs. There is a London Film Institute, but it doesn’t offer university degrees and doesn’t even have a website. There are 18 universities in London and the London Institute is not one of them’, says Pauw.
However, the letter from the university, signed by Registrar Stephen Marshall, reads: “The London Institute was granted university status by the Privy Council and was inaugurated as the University of London in May 2004.
“Therefore, it is no longer possible to replace or change London Institute degrees, higher education diplomas or higher education certificates…
“I hereby confirm that Arthur has successfully completed the Bachelor of Arts )BA) Honors Film and Television and that he has been awarded ‘upper second class Honors (2.1)’ by the Examination Board on June 30, 1995. ‘ says the letter.
Fraser was commissioner of the correctional services department until 2021, when his contract expired.
He was State Security Service (SSA) director general before being transferred to correctional services in 2018, following scathing corruption charges against him in running the domestic intelligence division.
Last year, he revealed that he rejected the probation commission’s decision and… signed the release of former President Jacob Zuma from KwaZulu-Natal Escort Prison on medical grounds.