Former Passenger Rail Agency of SA executive Daniel Mthimkhulu said he has a diploma acquired from the Vaal University of Technology.
He acknowledged that he could have come clean about not having a PhD and said he did not realise the cost of creating a perception that he had one.
Mthimkhulu worked as chief engineer at Prasa for 63 months and got paid more than R15-million.
Under his watch locomotives were acquired that could not be used on South Africa’s railway infrastructure, costing Prasa billions of rand.
The court has now ordered Mthimkhulu to pay back some of the money.
“I would like to take this opportunity to admit that I do not have a PhD and I failed to correct the perception that I have it.
“I just became comfortable with the title, I did not foresee any suffering or damages as a result of this because I got to be known at the time after I was appointed in the position of the executive manager in 2010”, said Mthimkhulu.
Mthimkhulu, who joined the rail agency in 1998, said he was promoted to the executive position based on the work experience he had acquired over the years.