Did Net1 CEO Belamant fake his Ph.D.?


The CEO and Chairman of NET1 (Net1 UEPS Technologies), a JSE and Nasdaq-listed tech firm, Serge Belamant has a questionable Ph.D. Degree. Quoth Raven in a blog titled Is UEPS’ CEO touting a sham PHD Degree, says major questions loom about the integrity of Belamant’s Ph.D. Degree, which seems to have come from a ‘distance learning’ University that has since disappeared. By Staff Writer

In the blog post, Raven says this after other research reports called out questionable statements the CEO has made about his company’s highly scrutinized business practices.

“UEPS has been a company under much controversy – the next question QTR wants to raise is whether or not the CEO’s PhD (with which he’s used to identify himself in numerous filings) is a sham. The company’s CEO and Chairman appears to have a Ph.D. from an offshore “distance learning” diploma mill which was exposed in a January 16th Webb-Site article and that doesn’t seem to exist anymore,” wrote Raven in the blog post.


Raven added: “Recently, Webb-Site published an article challenging the doctorate degree that had been granted from Burkes University to other executives. While investigating someone else who claimed to have a Ph.D. from “Burkes University”, this article claims that“There has never been a Burkes University in the UK”. An article published on January 16th, 2016 says.”

For more read:  Is UEPS’ CEO touting a sham PHD Degree

In a surprise move, Net1 on Friday issued a statement on the JSE advising investors about this allegations. What’s surprising is that the company seems to accept that Belamant’s Ph.D was a fake.

The company said its board of directors has become aware of recent allegations posted on social media questioning the validity of the honorary PhD in Information Technology and Management conferred by Burkes University upon Serge Belamant, Chairman and CEO of Net1.

“As a result of the social media allegations, two members of the board, with the cooperation of Serge Belamant, have conducted a review of the circumstances under which the honorary degree was awarded to Belamant, including an examination of the email correspondence between Belamant and Burkes University and an attempt to obtain any available information about Burkes University.”

The technology firm said based on this review, it appears that in early May 2003, Belamant received an email from a person who appeared to be associated with “Burkes University” stating that he had been “short-listed by the Honorary Doctorates Committee” for the conferment of an honorary doctorate degree.


Serge Belamant, Chairman and CEO of Net1.
Serge Belamant, Chairman and CEO of


“After receiving this correspondence, Belamant responded by asking for details about the selection criteria and process. Belamant received a response that discussed criteria, which appeared to him to be relevant to the awarding of an honorary degree. Belamant provided the information that he was asked to submit, including proof of his memberships of professional societies, his academic records, patents he filed, his nomination for the South African chapter of the World Entrepreneur of the Year award and his work published in information security textbooks. Belamant recalls making a donation to what he believed was a foundation associated with Burkes University.


“On May 23, 2003, the honorary degree was awarded to Belamant. Attempts to obtain information about Burkes University revealed that, according to the “Higher Education Degree Datacheck” website, Burkes University is currently referred to as “not a valid UK degree awarding body”. Further, there is no current website for Burkes University,” the company statement explained.

The board of Net1 concluded after the investigation that Belamant followed the honorary degree award process in good faith and that at the time, Belamant did not doubt the integrity of the process or the validity of the degree.

“However, in light of the review, Belamant and the board have come to the conclusion that it is likely that Belamant was the unfortunate victim of a scam and that the honorary degree was not legitimate.”


  1. Techfinancials thanks for this and like the way you have placed the story without making a judgement that he has faked the PHD or that the blogger is correct. We as readers will decide on ourselves. But, the big question is why did Belmanat accepted an honorary PHD from an unkown university and be proud to use the title Dr without verifying its validity. It was incumbent on him to verify this PHD. He has really duped a number of people for years and thats my take. He must apologise and not pass the blame to a fake university.

  2. OMG this company isn’t serious. This guy faked his degree and now wants to claim that he was duped. Shame on you Belamant. You don’t deserve to be a ceo of a jse company.

  3. Nobody uses the “Dr” title with an honorary degree, unless they are a total narcissist, or some African tinpot dictator. His PhD (Phony Doctorate) has long been questioned by people who know him

  4. Right now. If I was a shareholder at Net1 I would be very, very, very concerned about my money. Why does it take a blogger to expose this nonsense by a CEO and Chairman nogal. This Belamant or BullShitman is not a CEO type. All this could have been avoided by deploying a proper check and balances but he donated money to be honoured as as Dr. Am laughing out loud right now. Wake up the poor and smell the coffee as the rich are getting richer.

  5. This dude is a fraud, finish and klaar. Why are you making it look like he’s a victim? This dude faked his Doctorate. I checked online and couldn’t find history of his other tertiary qualifications besides this fake doctorate. Let’s call spade a spade and, without being selective, condemn fraud irrespective of who commits it.

  6. Magomarele Gomi Thobejane please don’t shoot the messenger. Techfinancials and the writer did well on this story by providing a proper context and you can decide on your own that Belamant is a cheat or not. The writer, Lourie, was correct to place the facts and make you to decide what is the ‘real’ truth. The writer is not bias to anyone. You as a reader have a right to condemn Belamant after Techfinancials provided you with the facts. Maybe you want the writer to place his opinions on a news story. That will not be a correct way to do things. I do agree with you that Belamant is a cheat but Net1 is his own company and its shareholders must decide if they still want him at the helm.


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