Eastern Cape Academic Masters Accountancy Cum Laude


Lecturer at Walter Sisulu University, Mr Masibulele Phesa has added a Master of Accountancy to his list of qualifications.

A Chartered Accountant (CA) and registered auditor, Phesa was awarded the degree cum laude by UKZN for his study on impression management in top 40 Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) companies’ chairpersons’ statements.

Companies often use persuasive tactics such as a positive tone, personal references and the passive voice in their chairperson’s statement to gain legitimacy. The literature notes that the main reason is that narrative voluntary disclosures are currently not audited. Phesa’s study thus recommends that an auditing framework for voluntary narrative disclosure be developed to limit the use of impression management.

Phesa dreamed of becoming a CA from an early age and when he achieved this goal in 2018, he decided to explore the field of accountancy further through academic research. He currently lectures financial accounting, cost accounting, taxation and financial management at Walter Sisulu University. ‘Accountancy is a financial language that makes business work. I apply its principles when making personal and business decisions,’ he said.

Phesa holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and a Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting Preliminary from the University of Fort Hare, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Accounting Science from the University of South Africa. He is registered for a PhD at UKZN.

He said that achieving a cum laude pass is surreal: ‘I remember during online orientation asking Dr Bomi Nomlala if it was possible to achieve this in the Master of Accountancy. I’m delighted that I managed to juggle demanding studies and a heavy teaching load.’

With guidance from his supervisors at UKZN, Professor Mabutho Sibanda and Ms Qondeni Khumalo, Phesa shared his research findings with the Accounting fraternity at the Management, Business, Administration and Legal Initiatives (MBALI) Conference hosted by the University of Zululand in December 2021. His paper was published in the accredited conference proceedings and he looks forward to more publications in the near future.

On achieving outstanding results, he said: ‘The key is to push yourself and not undermine your strength. You will never know what you are capable of until you start and persevere.’

Words: Hazel Langa

Photograph: Abhi Indarajan