Paul Ratsara Exonerated in Doctoral ‘Ghost Writing’ Accusation; University of South Africa Confirms Degree

Share It :

google+
More
Paul Ratsara Exonerated in Doctoral ‘Ghost Writing’ Accusation; University of South Africa Confirms Degree

PC: Paul Ratsara, president of the church’s Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division, shares with the 2010 Annual Council delegates how the denomination’s Tell The World has progressed in his region. Photo via Ansel Oliver/Adventist News Network

Paul Ratsara, a longtime Seventh-day Adventist pastor who served as president of the world church’s Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division (SID) for 11 years, has been told his 2014 Doctor of Theology degree from the University of South Africa “is in good standing.”

The news comes after an independent, “intensive investigation” commissioned by the University of South Africa, or UNISA, which began in 2016. The investigation followed allegations that Ratsara’s thesis was in part composed by another individual, called a “ghostwriter.”

 

The news came in an April 3, 2018 letter from Professor Qambeshile Michael Temane, acting registrar of the University. A copy of Temane’s letter was provided to The Compass Magazine, and is embedded below:

 

“Our investigations have revealed that there is no evidence to substantiate the claims that a ‘ghost writer’ wrote the chapters in question,” Temane wrote. “I wish to confirm that the [Doctor of Theology] degree awarded to you by our Council and Senate on the 8th of September in 2014 and all its privileges is in good standing.”

Ratsara’s doctorate was earned at The University of South Africa, the largest university on the African continent. The late Nelson Mandela, a former president of the Republic of South Africa, earned his undergraduate and law degrees at the school.

 

The Compass Magazine has learned Ratsara’s doctorate was personally supervised face to face within the university grounds, a 15-minute drive away from the then-Division president’s home in Centurion, South Africa.

 

When the first false allegations were made in The New Age, a South African newspaper, in April 2016, certain online magazines and blogs amplified the charges.

 

The allegations created significant “distraction” to the mission of the church, according to Ratsara’s letter of resignation.

 

Wanting to protect the mission, progress, and focus of the SID, Ratsara sent a letter to the General Conference Executive Committee.

 

In order “to refocus the church that I love, back to its God-given mission, and to prevent it continuing to be distracted, I have humbly decided to voluntarily request reassignment as a local church district pastor somewhere within the territory of the Indian Ocean Union, my home union,” Ratsara wrote to the General Conference Executive Committee, the top decision-making body of the Adventist world church, according to an Adventist Review report.

 

Ratsara has served as a district pastor in Seychelles, Africa, along with his wife Joanne, since December 2016.

Share It :

google+
More

About the author

Mark A. Kellner

Managing Editor Mark A. Kellner is a journalist living in Salt Lake City, Utah. From February 2014 to September 2015, he was a national reporter for the Deseret News, and has written about issues of faith and freedom since 1983. Mark also served as News Editor for the Adventist Review and Adventist World for seven years.

  • LduPreez

    Just because the university found “no evidence” does not mean Ratsara research/wrote his dissertation. Why doesn’t the ghostwriter, Bonya (who worked Under Ratsara), tell the world what he told/admitted to doing for Ratsara – like he told the officers in the SID? Sad indeed.

    • Nathi23

      I would rather trust Unisa on this one. They did an investigation and found nothing untoward in how Dr. Ratsara got his degree. What process did the church follow? Who is Bonya? Should we trust Bonya or a credible process that has been used by Unisa to try to get to the bottom of this? I will rather go with Unisa.

      • LduPreez

        Of course people are at liberty to go with whomever they will. But, it is interesting that those who requested the investigation, in the first place, have not received any information from said investigation group – and who was really involved in the “independent” investigation? And did the investigators obtain the Minutes from the SID Meetings and/or Union Meetings – in which Hopeson Bonya confesssed? If not, why not? Regardless, if Bonya is unwilling to come forward – or is being paid hush money – then UNISA could only work with the information they were given.

        Note: Hopeson Bonya worked under Ratsara at the time – as a Field Secretary, I believe.

        • Chung

          “Regardless, if Bonya is unwilling to come forward – or is being paid hush money – then UNISA could only work with the information they were given.”

          I admit that I am a very skeptical person and a small part of me is uncomfortable with the whole situation. However, there is a big difference between being skeptical/uncomfortable and making public accusations about “hush money” being paid without any evidence. That is a serious charge and I urge you to consider carefully what you are accusing fellow believers of, or at the very least provide the evidence.

          • LduPreez

            Thank you for the advice. Good to know that at least a “small part of” you “is uncomfortable with the whole situation.”

    • Mashudu Ravhengani

      We seem to want us to believe your untested allegations instead of a result of an extensive investigation from an institution that is recognised around the world.

      • LduPreez

        An academic institution that is indeed well-known and respected, but which also needs to have a complete independent investigation – including the official Minutes of the SID/SAU in which Hopeson Bonya confessed/admitted to writing 5 of 6 chapters – and thus Ratsara was voted out of his position. Unfortunately, the Minutes are likely only to be obtained by a court-ordered subpoena in an official litigative situation.But have the original Minutes been preserved, or redacted to not reflect the actual discussion/decision?

        Surely, you can see why UNISA would be eager to have this go away. It seems quite clear (read the comments by Nary Narina) that UNISA did not vet the student for acceptance into the doctoral program.

        • Chung

          “It seems quite clear (read the comments by Nary Narina) that UNISA did not vet the student for acceptance into the doctoral program.”

          I recommend reading the recent post by “The Moshe”. He explains that Pastor Ratsara received his master’s degree. Basically he received it as an equivalency degree before Zurcher was formed. This emphasizes the point that we need to make our decisions based on solid evidence (I’m actually waiting to hear back from Zurcher regarding this situation) and not hurl accusations at individuals (Ratsara) and/or institutions (GC and UNISA).

          • Nathi23

            You wrote “It seems quite clear (read the comments by Nary Narina) that UNISA did not vet the student for acceptance into the doctoral program.” ”

            Comments by Nary Narina expose her ignorance on how people get admitted into doctoral studies. Narina doesn’t know that sometimes people cannbe admitted into doctoral studies without a masters degree. That depends on different factors. Narina doesn’t even understand what a “masters degree equivalency” means from the article she/he qouted. The article she/he qouted never stated that Dr. Ratsara possesed a Masters degree in theology. All it says was that he had a Masters degree equivalency. The two are different yet Narina doesn’t understand that.

          • Chung

            I agree with you. I was actually quoting LduPreez, and writing a response to her post.

          • LduPreez

            “expose HER ignorance.” Just fyi, THAT is condescending.

            Nathi23 wrote: Comments by Nary Narina expose her ignorance on how people get admitted into doctoral studies. Narina doesn’t know that sometimes people cannbe admitted into doctoral studies without a masters degree. That depends on different factors. Narina doesn’t even understand what a “masters degree equivalency” means from the article she/he qouted. The article she/he qouted never stated that Dr. Ratsara possesed a Masters degree in theology. All it says was that he had a Masters degree equivalency. The two are different yet Narina doesn’t understand that.

        • Tongkam

          It may well be that it is Hopeson Bonya who, for whatever reasons, political, personal, or simply ignorance of what was actually contained in the dissertation, has made false claims of having written parts of it. It may well be that, in like manner to his quietly stepping down from his position in order to save the church further harm via the controversy, Dr. Ratsara is choosing to make no accusations, even if they would be true, toward Bonya.

          Might this not even be the case?

          • LduPreez

            Hopeson Bonya is not ignorant of what is in Ratsara’s dissertation, since Bonya confessed to writing 5 of the 6 chapters. Of what would Ratsara accuse Bonya? It is Bonya who could bring accusations toward Bonya – but in so doing, he would also bring to light that he was complicit in the matter.

          • Tongkam

            Well, what I had in mind was that perhaps Bonya had written and submitted some materials to Elder Ratsara, who then chose his own content from them and/or edited those materials to suit in putting together his final version–and, since that version is not published, no one knows for sure what’s in it, right? Conceivably not even Bonya knows.

        • Bell Razafindrabe

          LduPreez Judging Others!

          I am not sure what benefit do you gain scrutinizing Others.
          These verses pertain to you;

          “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

          3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will
          see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7

      • Bell Razafindrabe

        Amen

    • Chung

      Why do you continue to malign our brother (and by extension, UNISA) who has been cleared of false allegations? I would think that you would be happy that he (and by extension, the church) have been vindicated. If you have more “evidence” that we are not aware of, please let us know.

      • Nary Nirina

        MOST IMPORTANT about Ps. Ratsara’s MASTERS DEGREE???
        In the Adventist Review published on July 6, 2005, I quote «He has a master of divinity degree equivalency from the Adventist University Zurcher in Madagascar», page 7 (1st Paragraph).
        ● #1. Adventist University Zurcher is an undergraduate University and cannot deliver any Masters Degree till now (2018). The first Masters in Pastoral Theology cohort, offered by Adventist University of Africa, at Zurcher University, Madagascar only began on 2017. So How come he has a Masters of Divinity Degree from Zurcher University? How he got it?
        ● #2. If his Master’s degree is fictitious, then how was he able to enroll at UNISA for his Doctoral Degree?
        ● #3. Can we really trust in UNISA who is delivering this certification if Ps Ratsara, whom they certify for Doctoral Degree has not even a Masters Degree?

        ======> July 6, 2005 PDF link is http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Periodicals/GCSessionBulletins/GCB2005-05.pdf
        ======> What Zurcher offers for Theology link http://zurcher.edu.mg/index.php/formation/theologie/ (Bachelor in Theology)

        That is something you don’t know.

        «Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
        But those who deal truthfully are His delight.» (Proverbs 12:22, NKJV)

        I hope he learns and will repent from this unfortunate situation, and not to be showing as a victim

        • LduPreez

          I pray for the same. Men (and women) who will stand for the right though the heavens fall. EGW.

        • LduPreez

          Nary, I do hope people here read what you raise here – it’s quite clear that information (like timing, and other degrees) are problematic. Thank you for sharing this, sad though it be…

        • Chung

          I did not know this. If this is true, there is definitely a troubling precedent and it casts a shadow of doubt over the matter. Have you contacted Adventist Review or Zurcher U regarding this?

          • LduPreez

            It is understandable that a person is not aware of all the details. But, I do not think it is Nary’s responsibility to contact the Adventist Review or Zurcher U – especially when there have been numerous articles published on the situation, and since UNISA was asked (forced by the publicity?) to do an investigation.

            Seems that the real responsibility lies with the SAU/SID/GC to bring forth the documentation. And because some in the SAU and SID were concerned and did bring this matter to light with the appropriate church leaders – the GC top leadership met with the committees – the largest burden of proof seems to lie in their court.

          • Chung

            I disagree (surprise!). Nary has made the accusations. The onus of proof lies with the accuser. UNISA carried out their investigation and returned their findings. If you want to accuse UNISA of doing a poor review, or being involved in a coverup, the onus of proof lies with you.

            As far as the GC is concerned, that may be a different matter. However, again, without any proof, it is merely conjecture and hearsay. While I tend to agree with you that it would be better if they would release the information, it is no small thing, in my mind, to imply that the GC leadership is involved in a coverup. I advise caution in making unfounded accusations.

          • LduPreez

            Nary has provided copied information from the Ministry Magazine. The information is off, yet you choose to align there.

          • Chung

            How do we know whether the fault is with Ministry Magazine or with Dr. Ratsara?

          • LduPreez

            Perhaps YOU should contact Ministry Magazine – since aren’t you the one waiting to hear from Zurcher? And while you’re at it, also request of the SID the Minutes – which many would be eager to see.

          • Chung

            Again, I did not make the accusation. The onus of proof is on the accuser. I did contact Zurcher to satisfy my own curiosity, but the accusation regarding Pastor Ratsara’s master’s degree is baseless. The Review article states that it was an “equivalency” degree. Equivalency degrees are accepted by academic institutions when pursuing higher degrees. Read the post from “The Moshe” for further details. Any questions surrounding the legitimacy of his master’s degree is unfounded.

          • Nathi23

            Nary has not provided anything of substance. People get admitted to doctoral degrees straight from a bachelor’s degree the world over and Unisa is no exception. A simple google will clear your ignorance.

          • LduPreez

            In this Ratsara situation, I wish I WERE ignorant. But no need to be condescending.

            p.s. My husband got a doctoral degree from UNISA. He studied hard. He worked hard. Ratsara did not.

        • Chung

          Please see the recent post by The Moshe for a reasonable answer to your accusations regarding Pastor Ratsara’s master’s degree. Specifically point #2.

        • Nathi23

          Are you aware that it’s possible for person to enroll for a doctoral degree without a Masters degree?

        • Bell Razafindrabe

          Look at yourself .

          “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
          Matthew 7:5

      • LduPreez

        One who is not transparent about his doctoral work, is the one who is maligning himself. I think anyone would be happy to have the whole truth. Happiness comes from being truthful.

      • Bell Razafindrabe

        Amen

    • Bell Razafindrabe

      If the university was satisfied with Ratsara credentials why do you ask for more. The facts that Ratsara was re-elected meant much that he was competent and beloved no matter what degree he owned. His re- election was not based on his doctorate degree.
      There were and are political strive for leadership among those who worked for the division made someone think now that
      Hopeson Bonya confession was motivated by ‘bribery’ or self exaltation.

      • LduPreez

        Evidently the doctorate was important to SOMEONE (better pay, more and more leaders are obtaining them?) … Do you really think he’d be re-elected knowing the SID Committee later voted their “displeasure” with the way he handled this? Didn’t they re-elect him NOT knowing about this situation?

  • LduPreez

    Also, who made up the independent investigation? Where is that in the letter? Of course the university has many reasons for which they would like to put this matter to rest.

    • Nathi23

      It seems you have issues with Dr. Ratsara. Care to share the same with us? Unisa is a world class institution. I am very certain Unisa would not hesitate to withdraw a fruadlently obtained degree.

      • LduPreez

        Actually, UNISA has every reason to try and cover this up, as they have received quite a black eye from the negative publicity. If Hopeson Bonya, who worked as a field secretary under Ratsara when Bonya ghostwrote, won’t speak up, and if UNISA can’t get access to the SID Minutes, well there you have it, the perfect coverup.

        • Nary Nirina

          Dear LduPreez,

          Read my comment above and you will know why Unisa wanted to cover it up. His Master’s Degree was even fictitious and we don’t know how he got enrolled for his Doctoral courses.

          ======> July 6, 2005 PDF link is http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Periodicals/GCSessionBulletins/GCB2005-05.pdf
          ======> What Zurcher offers for Theology link http://zurcher.edu.mg/index.php/formation/theologie/ (Bachelor in Theology)

          In the Adventist Review published on July 6, 2005, I quote «He has a master of divinity degree equivalency from the Adventist University Zurcher in Madagascar», page 7 (1st Paragraph).

          #4.1. Adventist University Zurcher is an undergraduate University and cannot deliver any Masters Degree till now (2018). The first Masters in Pastoral Theology cohort, offered by Adventist University of Africa, at Zurcher University, Madagascar only began on 2017. So How come he has a Masters of Divinity Degree from Zurcher University?

          • LduPreez

            Yes, I agree Nary. UNISA has had every reason to cover-up or sweep it under the rug, hoping it will go away; they evidently didn’t sufficiently check out Ratsara’s claimed degrees.

            On the other hand, if Bonya and Ratsara are not coming clean, and if this investigative group could not gain access to the SID Division/Union Minutes (except in a court-appointed subpoena) – or if the Minutes were subsequently redacted to eliminate the discussion and confession – then this kind of nebulous outcome by UNISA can be expected. It seems to really be up to the SDA Church/SID to put forth this information. But will it be the full truth? God knows…

        • Stephen De Bruyn

          I would appeciate evidence of this Bonya confession.
          Also, wouldn’t it be easy for UNISA to discredit Ratsara, especially since so many other people in the church and outside want to. To get rid of him would be to the university’s credibility.

          • LduPreez

            Why would UNISA want to discredit Ratsara?

            It is UNISA that has every reason to exonerate Ratsara, because in so doing, they also exonerate themselves.

            It was UNISA that did not vet thoroughly Ratsara’s entrance documentation, and thus allowed him into their program.

            Then Ratsara has Hopeson Bonya research/write for him (Bonya worked under Ratsara at the time).

            So, the SID (or GC) needs to submit to UNISA the original official Minutes where the committee voted their displeasure at how Ratsara handled the “PhD.” Otherwise, UNISAs hands are tied. But it will probably take a court-ordered subpoena to get those Minutes.

          • Stephen De Bruyn

            So what is your proof that this Bonya guy ever said anything?

      • LduPreez

        Hopefully we all have issues with a president who would not be transparent about his doctoral work.

      • Nary Nirina

        MOST IMPORTANT about Ps. Ratsara’s MASTERS DEGREE???

        In the Adventist Review published on July 6, 2005, I quote «He has a master of divinity degree equivalency from the Adventist University Zurcher in Madagascar», page 7 (1st Paragraph).

        ● #1. Adventist University Zurcher is an undergraduate University and cannot deliver any Masters Degree till now (2018). The first Masters in Pastoral Theology cohort, offered by Adventist University of Africa, at Zurcher University, Madagascar only began on 2017. So How come he has a Masters of Divinity Degree from Zurcher University? How he got it?

        ● #2. If his Master’s degree is fictitious, then how was he able to enroll at UNISA for his Doctoral Degree?

        ● #3. Can we really trust in UNISA who is delivering this certification if Ps Ratsara, whom they certify for Doctoral Degree has not even a Masters Degree?

        ======> July 6, 2005 PDF link is http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Periodicals/GCSessionBulletins/GCB2005-05.pdf
        ======> What Zurcher offers for Theology link http://zurcher.edu.mg/index.php/formation/theologie/ (Bachelor in Theology)

        How can UNISA accepted his enrollment for Doctoral Degree if his Master’s degree is fictitious? Unisa as a world class institution would it be safe from corruption?

        • Nathi23

          Your own qoutation says “In the Adventist Review published on July 6, 2005, I quote «He has a master of divinity degree equivalency from the Adventist University Zurcher in Madagascar», page 7 (1st Paragraph).” I thought the statement you have qouted is clear that he doesn’t have a masters degree but a degree that carries the same weight as a Masters degree. That’s why the word “equivalency” was used. English is not my first language but I do make effort to try to understand what is written in English. Try do the same before resorting to smear tactics.

          • Nathi23

            The other point is that instutions the world over do enroll people for doctoral studies without Masters degrees for a variety of reasons. Unisa is not an exception. I do accept though that you don’t have those facts. We can’t know everything in life.

          • LduPreez

            p.s. Fact: My husband has a doctoral degree from UNISA. So, I do not speak out of ignorance, and neither do the other people to whom you have been condescending.

          • Nathi23

            I hope you didn’t ghost write some parts of your husband’s theseis. Why would I say this? You keep on reminding us about his doctorate as if you had a part in it.

          • LduPreez

            Please, try not be condescending in your many comments.

          • Nathi23

            I am not being condescending. Appologies if I sound that way. I am disappointed that people are commenting without facts. I respect differences of opinion but at least lets get the facts right. Again it is never right to smear others, especially when facts are wrong.

          • LduPreez

            Yes, you have been condescending in some of your comments – whether you view it that way or not. You COULD edit them out, if you so choose. I respect those who are not condescending, yet have a different opinion than do I.

            Frankly, I do wish I were wrong on this…

      • LduPreez

        Wouldn’t you also have issues with a person who covered up for a predator – what if your daughter, or sister were a victim?

        Wouldn’t you also have issues with the same person if they had someone else do their doctoral work for them – what if you had earned a doctoral degree, but learned that a classmate had someone who worked under him write all but one chapter of their dissertation?

    • Chung

      Your zeal for women’s ordination seems to be clouding your judgement on this issue. We should be happy for Dr. Ratsara, no?

      • LduPreez

        No. Has absolutely nothing to do with each other. What about a zeal against WO – could that be clouding the picture for some?

        • Chung

          It’s definitely possible that those who oppose WO are rooting for Dr. Ratsara to be vindicated (why would we want to see a brother and the church disgraced?). Are you willing to admit that those who support WO would like to see him fall? Besides the allegations regarding his degree, are there any other reasons to doubt the faithful service he has rendered for God and the church (I am honestly asking, as I am not familiar with SID)? Up to this point, your accusations seem to be all based on speculations and hearsay (with no hard evidence) implying that there is some coverup at the GC leadership level. Show us some real evidence and I will join you in lamenting the fall of our brother and the corruption in the system.

          • LduPreez

            I, for one, do not want to see any church leader fall. Presumably there are likely some who are for WO who would not want him back in office (especially since at the TOSC, at the very last minute, Ratsara announced that he was dissing his own GCBRC findings on WO, and then proceeded to present ‘his own’ information – even though it was supposed to be the findings of the SIDBRC).

            But my main concern, and those I know who have dealt with this matter, is transparency, or the lack thereof. And, as the one person here writes, Nary Nirina, saying they are not for WO, but also points out the problems with what Ratsara has claimed, in writing.

            So, neither do I want to see our church tainted by leaders who are not transparent. Did you keep up with all that has been written about this situation? It may be helpful for you to go and read up – on the SID, etc., which you mentioned.

            It does seem you are quick to align yourself – since what “hard evidence” did UNISAs independent investigation present?

          • Chung

            I’m glad that you do not want to see the fall of a church leader. Is there other evidence that has been presented regarding this case, other than what has been written in the comments section (which is mostly unverified claims)? I would be interested. UNISA is not required to present evidence to us. They conducted an independent investigation and presented their findings. If you cannot accept said findings, please provide evidence as to why we should not. What exactly are you saying about UNISA? Are they also dishonest/unethical? These are some strong accusations. All you have presented so far is speculation and hearsay. That is hardly enough reason to drag a Ratsara’s and UNISA’s reputation through the mud. Show me some evidence and I’ll be “quick to align” myself with you.

          • LduPreez

            It is the GC/SID/SAU who has the burden of proof to exonerate one of their former employees. How could UNISA do a thorough and proper investigation unless the GC/SID/SAU provided them with the necessary Minutes/documentation – in which Bonya admitted/confessed to writing for Ratsara? It is their own behavior which has dragged their own names through the mud.

            Of course you are free to align yourself with whomever you will. Just as you are free to Google the names and read up on the matter.

          • Chung

            See my answer to your other post.

          • LduPreez

            What “hard evidence” did that letter from UNISA to Ratsara present that has caused you to quickly “align yourself” with Ratsara?

          • Chung

            I align myself with Pastor Ratsara because he is a brother in our church who was very helpful to me in a time of need. What makes you align yourself so quickly against him?

            As I stated before, UNISA has their own independent review system motivated by their own desire to maintain a high level of academic ethics. They are not beholden to us to provide us with evidence of their review system. If they required minutes/documentation from the GC to make their decision and did not receive them, they should not have exonerated Dr. Ratsara. Seeing that they did exonerate him, we are left with two options: 1) Accept the findings as legitimate, or 2) Reject the findings as illegitimate. Without evidence to the contrary, I choose to respect the legitimacy of the UNISA’s review. If you choose option 2, know that you are basically calling into question UNISA’s academic/ethical integrity.

          • LduPreez

            Actually, as I already stated, it seems to be the GC / SID/ SAU that have the burden of proof to exonerate their employee (who has been pastoring in his home country); after all they are the ones who should have documented evidence in their committee Minutes (and they were present when Bonya confessed/admitted to writing for Ratsara); and they are the one who could give UNISA the Minutes to conduct a full proper investigation. Without that documentation, UNISAs hands are rather tied. It is no surprise that as far as I know, the GC / SID / SAU has not turned over that “hard evidence” (the Minutes) to exonerate their employee.

            Why I cannot align myself with Pastor Ratsara? Suffice it to say that I know, from first-hand experience, that Ratsara has been less than transparent in at least one other situation. I believe I have valid reasons for my position in viewing the findings as “illegitimate” as you say.

          • Chung

            So, basically, you are now casting aspersions on the integrity of UNISA, the GC, and Pastor Ratsara?

            “Why I cannot align myself with Pastor Ratsara? Suffice it to say that I know, from first-hand experience, that Ratsara has been less than transparent in at least one other situation.”

            Does it have anything to do with Women’s ordination?

          • LduPreez

            No, it has nothing to do with WO – not sure why some keep trying to falsely conflate the two. It has to do with Ratsara, and the Michigan Conference – covering up for a sexual predator (and yes, all three are antiWO, interestingly enough).

          • Chung

            “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

          • LduPreez

            So doth he, me thinks.

          • Chung

            Touché. I cannot deny that my beliefs regarding WO has some influence on my stance on this matter.

          • Chung

            We all approach things with biases. You have been strident in your support of WO. Pr. Ratsara strongly opposed WO. 2+2… If Pr. Ratsara was a woman pastor, or a strong supporter of WO, would you have been so quick to hurl public accusations based on speculation and hearsay at him? Are you really so concerned with transparency and the moral fiber of our leaders, or is it because the vilification of Pr. Ratsara bolsters the WO cause? Did you speak out as strongly against the female pastor who allegedly pressured her students to bathe naked with her? Did you demand transparency from the Conference when the female pastor baptized the partner of a lesbian into the church? I hope you can understand why “some” might be skeptical of your motives in going after Pr. Ratsara, especially considering the way in which you’re doing it (speculation and hearsay).

          • LduPreez

            You are free to question motives (you do seem quite good at that). And you are free to continually (falsely) conflate the two matters. But that does NOT make it so.

            Granted, I do not/have not addressed many ethical issues which have arisen (bathing naked, LGBT issues) – I have had to pick my “battles.” But, Yes, I would have still spoken up, even if Ratsara WERE proWO! (Fact is, he is also adamantly against women Elders, women Pastors – which is fully in-line with GC Policy). I ‘demanded’ (your seemingly emotional term) transparency of the Michigan Conference leadership regarding S Pipim (because I knew that those leaders KNEW about other assaults by Pipim and were covering those up as well (and since the conference AND Ratsara were muzzling all those who came forward or dealt with the Pipim matter – note: I have been in contact with numerous of his victims). I risked losing my job over it – and did lose my job over it. And, I would do it again – to prevent more victims of any sexual predator.

            One cannot deny the fact that P Ratsara, and S Pipim and the Michigan Conference leadership are all closely united in on many levels (including covering-up for Pipim for way too long, and trying to get him rebaptized way too soon, and discouraging those involved from contacting the one victim who came forward to church leaders who had to deal with Pipim in Botswana, etc.).

            And, my purpose is not to vilify anyone. My purpose is that we need to hold non-transparent leaders accountable for their actions. Surely you would agree with that?

          • Chung

            I am truly sorry if you lost your job over exposing Pipim. What he did was evil. However, even if you are correct regarding a conspiracy involving Michigan Conference, Pr. Ratsara, and Pipim, you would still be wrong in the accusations you’ve raised against Pr. Ratsara regarding his doctoral degree.

            In the first place, it is unrelated to the Pipim situation (conflation?). If Pr. Ratsara was involved in covering up for Pipim, this would be wrong (even criminal) and he should be held accountable (the fact that he is not leads me to believe that the GC did not find this to be true). However, this does not have any bearing on whether he fraudulently obtained his doctoral degree. You might argue that this shows he has a dishonest character, but that is still not evidence that he obtained his DTh dishonestly, which is the allegation at hand.

            Secondly, you are wrong in the method in which you have accused Pr. Ratsara. Your accusations have been predominantly based on speculations (some quite extreme, e.g., intimidation or hush-money being paid to keep a witness quiet) or hearsay. While what you say could be true, in the realm of possibilities, they are not factual. Until they are proven to be factual, all you are doing is throwing out all sorts of unproven accusations. This is tantamount to breaking the 9th Commandment.

            Ultimately, I agree with you that we need to hold our leaders accountable, but let’s do it based on factual evidence and in relation to the actual proven wrong they have committed.

          • LduPreez

            Chung, Firstly, you told me why you tended to trust Ratsara (he was kind and helpful to you in some situation). And so, I then though it made sense that I tell you why I question Ratsara’s transparency – for one, firstly because of the Pipim issue. And it is still wrong or “evil” – as you rightly say – because SKP still has not made things right with all the KNOWN victims (7-8 at the moment as I recall off-hand); and yet, he is still traveling the globe and still mingling among our young people – the very group from which he has groomed and molested numerous victims (whom I have been in contact with). Why isn’t Pipim being stopped from continuing that? Moreover, Ratsara and the top leadership of Michigan Conference did indeed cover-up for Pipim. And why hasn’t the GC done all within their power to stop Pipim? True, they have written some letters and contacted various leaders; but I think we both pretty much know that if there’s a will there’s a way to stop Pipim – at least within Adventism.

            And yes, I did lose my job over the Pipim matter – thank you for your sympathy.

            CONSPIRACY? The top leadership of the GC is also close friends with Ratsara (on many levels, including WO). It took many months before someone could get the GC to put forth a letter to all Divisions regarding Pipim. But, Ratsara was still SID President – so no, the GC did not reveal, and did they even look to see if Ratsara or the Michigan Conference were part-and-parcel to a cover-up (the truth hurts)? Not that I’m aware of. Which is very unfortunate, especially since a number of Pipim’s victims were attending the Ann Arbor, Michigan CAMPUS program at the time SKP molested them, or tried to molest them but were able to run away. Sadly, too many of the CAMPUS women have preferred to keep quiet for various reasons. Can I prove there was a conspiracy? Well, just take note of the fact that Pipim, and the top Michigan Conference leadership, and Ratsara/SID, and the top GC leadership are ALL very close in their views on many issues (in particular the WO issue). And Pipim, until the surfacing of multiple molestations, was one of the main people who was officially traveling the globe (and promoting the antiWO views). So understandably it seems to look rather suspicious.

            So, point is that if Ratsara would deceptively cover-up for a predator (which he did in fact – as I worked with Pipim’s pastor on this situation), then Ratsara would likely not hesitate to be less-than-transparent about his degree (seems he has not hesitated to use deception/cover-up if it’s to his advantage). Further, I think, if you had read all the articles / documentation surrounding Ratsara and his ‘dissertation’, you would at least realize that there are plenty of questions – which have gone unanswered. (Note: Some have speculated that because much of this took place during the time of the TOSC, and after Pipim was caught, thus it was that some thought Ratsara then needed to get a PhD – in essence to take Pipim’s place; thus the current situation).

            WHERE ARE THE SIDs BRI PRESENTATIONS. Also, where are the SIDs BRI papers which were written by various SID scholars for the TOSC (WO) – please see if you can find them in the Adventist Archives where all presentations, except his, were provided, last I checked). Why would Ratsara hesitate to submit them to the TOSC? Why did Ratsara not turn in those papers? Evidently, he dissed his own SID BRI papers, then used D Bediako’s paper (was studying at AIIAIS) and then came up with his own paper and presented THAT to the TOSC; and at some point he evidently had Hopeson Bonya put his dissertation together via all this documentation (as I understand it). So, please let me know if you can find any of the information I’ve mentioned. Now, if the GC / SID were truly interested in exonerating Ratsara publicly, why wouldn’t they just provide the original Minutes, and say that all is well? But they have not. Why would that be? Does that sound like transparency?

            DISSERTATION? And where is Ratsara’s dissertation from UNISA – if you find it let me know that as well. It has evidently, and interestingly, not appeared on the UNISA website, last I knew. Check the UNISA website (let me know if you find it – and then remember from where he got much of the information).

            I have plenty of relatives and friends in South Africa (where my husband is from) where the SID Headquarters reside. I have seen some of the documentation/letters. However, as I’ve said, unless and until the SID / GC will submit to UNISA the original SAU / SID Minutes (where there were concerns, and where Hopeson Bonya confessed to writing 5 of the 6 chapters of Ratsara’s dissertation, AND where it was voted that the committee was displeased with the way Ratsara handled the information surrounding ‘his’ dissertation), then I think UNISAs hands are tied. But of course UNISA would be eager to exonerate themselves; and Ratsara would be especially eager to have himself exonerated; and of course all of Ratsara’s friends would like to see him exonerated. Unfortunately, UNISA has not provided the names of the ‘independent’ group who did the investigation; neither have they provided (at least in the letter above) hard evidence or the procedure/source of the investigation (nor to those who requested the investigation). If you see hard evidence, please let me know.

          • LduPreez

            No, I don’t really think the fault lies with UNISA. My husband got a doctorate from UNISA – so why would I want to cast aspersion on them? I think that the GC / SID et al should provide to UNISA all the documentation necessary to truly exonerate Ratsara – example the original Minutes, for starters…

            Again, my concerns are about a less-than-transparent church president. If were were proWO I would still be concerned, AND speak up. But of course you are free to continue to (falsely) conflate the matters.

          • Chung

            But you are casting aspersions on UNISA’s reputation when you state that they didn’t do a full investigation and exonerated Dr. Ratsara anyway. If they knew about the allegations regarding the ghostwriter and weren’t able to investigate these claims to their satisfaction, they should never have exonerated Dr. Ratsara, but they did.

            Furthermore, your husband’s affiliation with UNISA has no bearing on the situation in question. Your husband worked for the GC and you don’t seem to have a problem with implying that they are involved in a coverup regarding this whole situation.

          • LduPreez

            As I said, UNISA had EVERY reason to exonerate Ratsara, and thereby UNISA – it made both look bad. In reality, I suppose this could cast aspersion on the SID and GC – if they do not submit the original Minutes to UNISA.

            P.S. Your facts are not accurate about my husband – perhaps you need to go and do the Google thing?

          • Chung

            “As I said, UNISA had EVERY reason to exonerate Ratsara, and thereby UNISA – it made both look bad.”

            So according to your accusations, this would mean that UNISA knowingly carried out an incomplete investigation and exonerated Dr. Ratsara anyway. If that is not casting aspersions on UNISA, I don’t know what is.

            Your husband did not work for the GC? By GC, I tend to mean the church as a whole, not specifically the worldwide GC leadership, i.e., if you work for Andrews U, or the Michigan Conference you’re ultimately a GC employee.

          • Nathi23

            I still don’t get it. Please help a brother here. What reason would Unisa, an institution with thousands of students, have to exonarate a single student who has committed academic fraud? What in your view does Dr. Ratsara have on Unisa that makes them look the other way even when presented with strong evidence of fraud? Please answer those questions for me please.

          • LduPreez

            Trying to help my brother, Nathi23. Admittedly, it can be quite complicated if you’re just coming into this matter. However, if you have kept up, you’ve likely realized that UNISA has gotten a black eye due to the local publicity of this Ratsara matter – because evidently UNISA did not vet sufficiently the information which their prospective PhD student (Ratsara) submitted to them. (Granted, with such a huge university it would be difficult to vet thoroughly every bit of documentation which every student has submitted to gain entrance to the PhD program) – but clearly it’s necessary.

            So, to help rid themselves of this black eye, UNISA would be exceptionally eager to exonerate Ratsara and thus claim that they have checked it all out and find Ratsara submitted valid information/documentation to UNISA. So it is, for UNISA to exonerate Ratsara, it also exonerates UNISA. Hope that helps…

            BRIEF BACKGROUND: Evidently, for quite some time there was knowledge (about fraudulent degrees by Paul Charles, who was Communication Director, etc., under Paul Ratsara. And there was knowledge about Paul Ratsara – having Hopeson Bonya write for Ratsara; Bonya was a Field Secretary under Ratsara. Thus, the SAU had consistently tried to get the SID to deal with these matters; and finally, but only with constant pressure (and local publicity), the SID finally checked out matters and Paul Charles was terminated. But because Ratsara was President of the SID, it apparently depended on the GC (above Ratsara) to investigate the matter. Ratsara opted to resign (you may understand how forced resignations work – with the option of resigning yourself, or of being terminated by the employer).

          • LduPreez

            Again, UNISA had every reason to exonerate Ratsara – because they erred in allowing him into their program (without vetting thoroughly his degree claims). Moreover, I’ve said, repeatedly, that UNISAs hands are tied, unless and until the SID et al submits to UNISA the official Minutes – where Bonya confessed to writing on behalf of Ratsara; and where the committee voted their displeasure at the way Ratsara handled the situation.

            (Yes, I noticed you’re calling him “Dr.” Ratsara. I can’t).

            No graduate of UNISA (or of any university) who HONESTLY EARNED their doctoral degree – is pleased to know about students who graduated by someone ELSE doing their work for them.

            Again, your information about my husband is inaccurate; yet you keep making interesting comments about him. Why is this?

          • Chung

            My point is this: You’ve stated that you’re not trying to paint UNISA in a bad light (stated that your husband graduated from there and that it was a good experience), but at the same time you have accused UNISA of: 1) not properly vetting Pr. Ratsara, 2) not conducting a thorough investigation and exonerating Pr. Ratsara anyway, because 3) they were eager to exonerate themselves (which would be unethical). Furthermore, you’ve stated all this without evidence, which is the main issue I have with your posts (more to follow).

            I hadn’t really paid attention to when I called him Dr., or Pr. I wasn’t trying to throw it in your face (at least not consciously).

            As far as your husband is concerned, my point was that his attendance at UNISA has no bearing on the matter at hand and does not seem to be deterring you from accusing them of unethical behavior (again, without evidence). You also stated, “My husband got a doctorate from UNISA – so why would I want to cast aspersion on them?”. My point was that your husband was an employee of the GC and you did not seem to have any qualms about casting aspersions on the GC being involved in a coverup. I wasn’t accusing/implying that your husband was involved in a coverup (note: I edited my previous post to clarify this). Other than than, I don’t think I made any “interesting comments about him”. All my comments were in regards to you and your actions. As far as the inaccurate information goes, I’m not sure what you’re referring to. I thought your husband worked for Andrews U, which I thought was under GC control. Other than that, i can’t think of any possible inaccuracies.

          • Stephen De Bruyn

            Hear, hear.

          • LduPreez

            Your question seems familiar – what many who supported a well-known sexual predator continued to ask.
            Didn’t Pipim render faithful service for God and the church?
            All the while he was promoting antiWO views (speaking and writing against WO), he was pouncing on young women. All the while he was purporting to pray with young women, he was preying on them. All the while he was promoting sexual fidelity, he was molesting women. Something just doesn’t jive, does it? Why would Ratsara et al continue to cover-up for such behavior?

            Did Ratsara “render faithful service for God and the church?”
            All the while he was promoting antiWO views as unbiblical, he was breaking the 9th commandment. All the while he was promoting honesty among his constituents, he was submitting false documentation to UNISA. All the while he was promoting integrity, he was having a person – one who worked under him – write his dissertation for him. Why would he do this?

            While we can’t know the heart, by their fruit you will know them.

            Chung wrote: “Besides the allegations regarding his degree, are there any other reasons to doubt the faithful service he has rendered for God and the church?”

          • Chung

            I don’t know all the information regarding Pipim, but as far as I know, he was proven guilty. He admitted to a “moral fall” or something to that effect, and I believe he admitted to the two accusations against him prior to his aborted first attempt to be rebaptized.

            The case against Dr. Ratsara is not clear at all. There is no actual evidence; there are only allegations. UNISA’s exoneration is evidence in favor of his innocence, further weakening your case against him.

            Again, you keep accusing him without proof, which is problematic for me. If you wrote your accusations as your own opinions/theories based on the evidence as you see it, then I would not have a problem with your posts. However, you keep writing your accusations as factual statements when they are not; they are only allegations. IF in the course of events it is shown that your allegations are correct then it would be acceptable to write them as factual. As this has not happened yet, your accusations are baseless and slanderous/libelous.

          • LduPreez

            Yes, it is understandable that it is not clear to you, or some others. What “hard evidence” has the independent investigation provided to exonerate Ratsara? However, as I’ve said, UNISAs hands are tied, unless and until the SID submits the Minutes of meetings – in which Bonya confessed, and in which the Executive Committee voted their displeasure at how Ratsara handled the information regarding his ‘degree.’

            FYI – There are currently at least 7 KNOWN victims of SKP. He first admitted to ONLY ONE “moral fall” after the young woman came forward (eventually she recorded SKP – because church leaders did not believe her – that he had molested her twice).

            Yet the Michigan Conference, even though they KNEW of other previous assaults by SKP, was going to re-baptize SKP (in just under a year – which is basically unheard of in the Michigan Conference – for pastors, and all the more for leaders). Sadly, the Michigan Conference was forging ahead with their plans – going on the word of Ratsara, who went to Ann Arbor to speak with SKP.

            Thankfully, just prior to the first scheduled re-baptism, a couple came forward about another victim of SKP. He couldn’t deny it.

          • Chung

            I agree with you regarding Pipim (I said as much in my previous post). I believe the Michigan Conference sent out a letter urging others not to be involved with Pipim and not to rebaptize hiim.

            All that aside, I wonder if you actually read my post all the way through. The major issue I have with your posts are that you are making accusations against Dr. Ratsara (and UNISA) without real evidence. There are only allegations of wrong doing at this point and your language should reflect that reality. You keep stating things as if they are fact, when they have not been proven to be so. To the uninformed individual, this could be misleading. To the rational minded individual, this leads one to question why you are so intensely passionate about this issue, to the point that you risk publicly slandering/libeling another church member. Words matter!

      • Nary Nirina

        1. I am against Women Ordination as that has no Biblical foundation at all, not even one single example was giving by the Bible.
        2. He is from our Country.
        However, both are not a reason for me to cover up his dishonesty.

        • LduPreez

          Agree. From my perspective, the two issues are not really so related. But even if they were, that is no reason to excuse dishonesty.

      • LduPreez

        WOMEN’S ORDINATION…

        Chung, You may recall that for the TOSC (GCs Women’s/Theology of Ordination Study Committee), prior to the GCSA2015 Session, all of the church’s 13 Divisions had put together committees (BRC – Biblical Research Committees) that were assigned to study and then report on the theology of ordination, and then they were supposed present their findings to the TOSC. The SID study committee was chaired by Ratsara.

        Unfortunately, the SID church community was not given access to the papers of the SIDs BRC, and the final report was never even shared with the rest of the church membership, neither was it made public. So, even though Ratsara presented a summary of its position to the TOSC, he never submitted the full report.

        Moreover, it is interesting that Ratsara’s thesis cannot be found in UNISAs library, nor is it online in UNISAs Institutional Repository – which is UNISAs digital archive of theses and dissertations. If you can find Ratsara’s dissertation/thesis listed on UNISAs website, please let me know (it was on the topic of women’s ordination):
        http://uir.unisa.ac.za/handle/10500/4176/browse?type=author

        Why would this be?

        • Tongkam

          Because the eagles are ready to swoop in and tear it apart?

          Do you honestly feel that by presenting yourself as an accuser of the brethren, you are doing God’s will?

          Remember, Satan, who is the “accuser of the brethren,” does not lie in making his accusations. He speaks the truth. We are sinners, with many shortcomings. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Let him that is without sin among you cast the first stone.

          • LduPreez

            Tongkam, Remember, God also admonishes us: “Go, and sin no more.” And that “By their fruits you will know them.”

            Yes, you’re right, we ARE all sinners; but we are not all highly placed church leaders who are supposed to represent Christ to the people – which Ratsara was, but is no longer… and for appropriate reason.

            (You sound like you’re referring to SKPs eagle – which has already swooped down on his victims; and unfortunately Ratsara has had a hand in furthering/enabling this serious problem).

          • Tongkam

            Eagles, Lynda, represent the demons and/or the demonic forces (see Mt. 24:28; Lk. 17:37; Rv. 18:2).

            The following from the pen of inspiration is thought-provoking.

            Whoever trusts in himself that he is righteous, will despise others. As the Pharisee judges himself by other men, so he judges other men by himself. His righteousness is estimated by theirs, and the worse they are the more righteous by contrast he appears. His self-righteousness leads to accusing. “Other men” he condemns as transgressors of God’s law. Thus he is making manifest the very spirit of Satan, the accuser of the brethren. With this spirit it is impossible for him to enter into communion with God. He goes down to his house destitute of the divine blessing. {COL 151.2}

            Just maybe this following applies to SKP and others’ treatment of him.

            When one who has wandered far in sin seeks to return to God, he will encounter criticism and distrust. There are those who will doubt whether his repentance is genuine, or will whisper, “He has no stability; I do not believe that he will hold out.” These persons are doing not the work of God but the work of Satan, who is the accuser of the brethren. Through their criticisms the wicked one hopes to discourage that soul, and to drive him still farther from hope and from God. Let the repenting sinner contemplate the rejoicing in heaven over the return of the one that was lost. Let him rest in the love of God and in no case be disheartened by the scorn and suspicion of the Pharisees. {COL 190.2}

            Our thoughts, words, and actions should, in place of accusing the wanderers as Satan’s helpers, be directed toward them in compassion, wooing them to return to the fold, to peace, safety, and joy again in knowing God’s salvation.

            Love is kind…thinketh no evil…rejoiceth not in iniquity…

          • LduPreez

            And thus it is all the more an appropriate name for SKP to call his website Eagles… birds of prey, swooping down, on the hunt for his next vulnerable prey.

            I certainly do not rejoice in that evil/iniquity. The evil has surfaced; SKP has not made things right with all his victims, which are numerous (and with whom I have been in contact with). Why don’t you call out the real evil?

          • LduPreez

            I suppose SKPs Eagles on his website make it quite appropriate – swooping down, hunting for its next victim, its prey – to tear it apart: physically, spiritually and psychologically. It is a real pity.

        • Chung

          I have no idea why you can’t find it and I’m not sure what you’re trying to imply, but if your theory involves more speculation and hearsay, I’ll take a pass.

          • LduPreez

            Chung, I thought you wanted “hard evidence.” So, why don’t YOU try to find Ratsara’s dissertation at UNISA. It is not there – where the others are. Why would that be?

            And you should ask, Why are the SID BRC papers (on WO which were supposed to be presented to the TOSC) NOT available on the SDA website – like all the other Divisions’ BRC research is?

            Perhaps you should also ask: Could it be that this information is UNavailable because if it were to be made available, it may reveal where Bonya/Ratsara gleaned their information for Ratsara’s dissertation from UNISA (since his dissertation is on WO)?

          • Chung

            The onus of proof lies with the accuser. It is not my responsibility to find the evidence as I did not make the accusations. As to your other points, see my reply to your other post.

          • LduPreez

            SID EXCOM …

            On May 24, 2016, a special meeting of the SID EXCOM was held, chaired by Elder TW, GC President [note: TW abruptly left his evangelistic meetings in Rwanda to attend this meeting]. And, it was at this meeting that Hopeson Bonya came forward and confessed that he’d written five of the six chapters of Ratsara’s thesis. With this confession in hand, the May 17, 2016 decision to conduct a forensic investigation was rescinded.

            A motion to “register displeasure at the way the doctorate was obtained by Paul Ratsara” was narrowly passed (30 in favor, 28 against).

            REGISTERED DISPLEASURE ABOUT RATSARA’S QUALIFICATIONS. In the official minutes for the meeting, the Action (#16-043) concerning registering displeasure against Ratsara’s qualifications read in full:

            MINUTES: WHEREAS the SID EXCOM noted a detailed presentation from Paul Ratsara pertaining, inter alia [i.e. ‘among other things’], to support he received in the compilation of his ThD qualification obtained from UNISA; and NOTING that there may be some diverse interpretations on what would constitute possible excessive reliance on research support Paul Ratsara may have received in the compilation of his ThD Thesis; and NOTING further that, according to Paul Ratsara, the ThD qualification passed the institutional test of plagiarism by UNISA; VOTED in the context of the aforegoing and only limited thereto, to express the EXCOM’s displeasure to Paul Ratsara for the manner in which he acquired his ThD qualification.”

            At the end of the the SID EXCOM meeting, TW asked Ratsara if he wanted to say something, and Ratsara replied that he wished to step down, indicating it would be difficult to serve because of what amounted to a no-confidence vote against him by the committee. TW asked Ratsara to sleep on it before making a decision, and indicated that the GCs executive leadership might not be willing to accept his resignation. But, by 29 May 2016, Ratsara confirmed his resignation (both to the GC and to the SID officials), then and on 31 May 2016, the GC Executive Committee had accepted it.

            WHY WAS THE A.N.N. ARTICLE REMOVED? A statement – which was originally published on the ANN (Adventist News Network) website, was subsequently removed, but had quoted Ratsara as saying, “To refocus the church that I love, back to its God-given mission, and to prevent it continuing to be distracted, I have humbly decided to voluntarily request reassignment as a local church district pastor somewhere within the territory of the Indian Ocean Union, my home union.”

  • Rejane Leo Bleeker

    The New Age news paper was owned by the Guptas… Can it’s content be trusted? Did Bonya tell the truth? Or did he “confess” under duress? Politics and politicians have unfortunately infiltrated our church in South Africa ( I have personal, reliable evidence on the goings on in the upper echelons).

    But we will find out to truth in the hereafter…

    • Chung

      Who are the Guptas, and what is their connection to the SDA church?

      • Rejane Leo Bleeker

        The Gupta brothers have been linked with state capture activities through ex president Jacob Zuma. As far as I know they have no connection at all with our church.

        • Chung

          Thanks for the reply. Am I correct in surmising that their credibility is suspect?

          • Rejane Leo Bleeker

            Yes

          • LduPreez

            Keep in mind the Paul Charles matter – P Charles WAS the SID Communication Director (and other offices), under Pastor Ratsara’s time as SID President. Charles is (Asian) Indian and falsely claimed to have received degrees from different educational institutes (including remote Indian institutes), which turned out to be paper-mills.

            So, Charles too was not transparent. And he too is no longer works in the SID offices. But, what could this say about Ratsara and P Charles?

          • Chung

            “So, Charles too was not transparent. And he too is no longer works in
            the SID offices. But, what could this say about Ratsara and P Charles?”

            Nothing, as they are two separate individuals with unrelated cases.

          • LduPreez

            Well, except that Paul Charles DID work UNDER Ratsara; so couldn’t there be some things related and/or overlapping? Why would P Charles eventually be terminated? And why is Ratsara no longer at the SID? Did Charles know about Ratsara and Hopeson Bonya? And, did Ratsara know about Paul Charles? Were they covering for each other?

          • Chung

            Again, it’s just too speculative. I don’t agree with making accusations against Pr. Ratsara based only on this circumstantial “evidence”.

          • LduPreez

            Chung, quoted below are the Minutes of the SID:

            REGISTERED DISPLEASURE REGARDING RATSARA. The Action (#16-043) is as follows:

            “WHEREAS the SID EXCOM noted a detailed presentation from Paul Ratsara pertaining, inter alia [i.e. ‘among other things’], to support he received in the compilation of his ThD qualification obtained from UNISA; and NOTING that there may be some diverse interpretations on what would constitute possible excessive reliance on research support Paul Ratsara may have received in the compilation of his ThD Thesis; and NOTING further that, according to Paul Ratsara, the ThD qualification passed the institutional test of plagiarism by UNISA; VOTED in the context of the aforegoing and only limited thereto, to express the EXCOM’s displeasure to Paul Ratsara for the manner in which he acquired his ThD qualification.”

          • Chung

            “Displeasure” does not equal condemnation. The key words for me are: “…there may be some diverse interpretations… Paul Ratsara may have received…” (emphasis added). Also, some here have claimed that it was politically motivated, which further muddies the water. Ultimately, my points still stand that there has not been verifiable evidence of wrong-doing, only allegations, and one should not participate in character assassination based only on these allegations.

          • LduPreez

            Chang, And, ultimately my point still stands, because there has not been verifiable evidence to the contrary. We are talking here about the (former) SID President – so no doubt there were those in the committee who wanted to put a kind ‘SPIN’ on the voted wording.

            The SID Excom motion to “register displeasure at the way the doctorate was obtained by Paul Ratsara” was narrowly passed (30 in favor, 28 against).

            Also, perhaps you should define your idea of what “displeasure” entails. Clearly it is not something positive.

            Also, please address the fact that Ratsara’s dissertation is not on the UNISA website. And also address the fact that the SID BRCs TOSC (WO) reports are not available online (as are the other Divisions’ BRC reports) – and the fact that Ratsara (at the TOSC) did not present to the TOSC, or turn in to the TOSC the research of the SID BRC. Then ask yourself if it could be that Hopeson Bonya/Paul Ratsara gleaned their materials for Ratsara’s doctoral degree from the SID BRCs Reports.

          • Chung

            “And, ultimately my point still stands, because there has not been verifiable evidence to the contrary.”
            Your point is not a valid one. When dealing with allegations of wrong-doing, a lack of evidence to the contrary is not sufficient to render a guilty verdict. You have to be able to show, with evidence, that the alleged misdeeds were carried out by the alleged individual. They are still allegations until proven, i.e., innocent until proven guilty.

            “The SID Excom motion to “register displeasure at the way the doctorate was obtained by Paul Ratsara” was narrowly passed (30 in favor, 28 against). So at this point, Ratsara did not have sufficient support – thus he is no longer President.”
            As far as I know, Pr. Ratsara chose to resign. He was not removed by the SID Excom motion. One may have influenced the other, but the way you word it sounds like he was forced out, which makes it seem that there was political motivation involved.

            Your last points regarding the missing dissertation and TOSC reports seem tenuous because it would imply that UNISA is involved with the SID in destroying evidence. I could see a scenario involving individuals within the SID burying the TOSC report, but to be able to do the same with the UNISA dissertation would involve a much higher level of sophistication and complicity, I would think. With that being said, out of everything you’ve stated so far, this would be, the most valid point you’ve made, imo (keeping in mind that these are still only allegations and still speculative). Not that my opinion matters a whole lot, but your last paragraph is the model I would follow when making your case. Present the facts, make a relevant point/question, and wait on the evidence before assessing guilt. In other words, allow people to come to their own conclusions based on the evidence. In your other posts you state that Pr. Ratsara did certain things as if they are proven facts, when they are not. This is misleading and only serves to paint you as having an axe to grind with him. If you are truly impartial, as you claim, I would avoid this type of language. Just my two cents. At this point, I think we’ve beaten this poor horse way beyond death, so unless some new evidence surfaces, I’ll sign off on this discussion. Vaya con Dios.

          • LduPreez

            No, if you’d read my other comments, I do not believe that UNISA is involved with the SID in destroying evidence. I think the SID is responsible for sharing with UNISA what all of the Minutes entail – including the FACT that Hopeson Bonya confessed to writing 5 of the 6 chapters.

            But of course, you are free to suit yourself. Godspeed…

          • LduPreez

            Sorry, this comment no longer available.

          • Chung

            “bar NAAN…”
            Nice!

    • LduPreez

      Yes, evidently so. Can you kindly clarify what you mean when asking if Bonya confessed under duress? Who is it that would force a confession from Bonya? He confessed in SID Division/Union Meetings, so it should be in the official Minutes, but it would likely take a court subpoena to gain access; and then there is the question of whether or not the Minutes were subsequently redacted so as to not reflect the discussion/confession.

      Paul Charles (was in the SID) was/is another disconcerting matter – and Ratsara wanted to keep him in his position – despite Charles’ lack of transparency regarding his degrees. Why would that be?

  • Mashudu Ravhengani

    It is unfortunate that a group of few members calling themselves Concerned Adventist Academics, whose agenda was driven by one disgruntled church worker at the SAU, were behind the agenda to discret Pastor Ratsara. They single handily destroyed of a great leaders in the church. The whole of the SID continue to miss the great leadership of Pastor Ratsara. In view of this decision from Unisa, the GC must rescind the action to accept his resignation.

    • Nary Nirina

      Dear Brother Mashudu,

      Integrity is something that we, as Adventist Christians, can not take lightly.

      You won’t be granted Heaven by the greatness of how you did things, rather Heaven is concerned on how Faithful you did it! That’s how we will be judged. (Matthew 25:21)

      Please read my main comment and see how questionable he was regarding his degree though I recognize myself how great he was in the ministry.

      As a Church, we have to rely not on the greatness of a person, but only on what the Bible says. Because «A bishop[Pastor] then must be blameless […] Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.» (1 Timothy 3:2,7, NKJV)

      «Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
      But those who deal truthfully are His delight.» (Proverbs 12:22, NKJV)

      I hope he learns and will repent from this unfortunate situation, and not to be showing as a victim. As we say here in Madagascar, «Ny marina toy ny afo ka raha kobonina mandoro» (Truth is life a fire, if you hide it you will be burnt).

      • LduPreez

        Good points here. It is all very sad. But let us not keep our heads in the sand. And hopefully leaders will not put so much pressure on employees as to drive them to be less than transparent.

        • Nary Nirina

          Indeed, that needs a lot of prayers, and faithfulness «to the right though heavens fall» (Education page 57)

          • LduPreez

            Yes, men (and women) who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.

          • LduPreez

            Why is it that The Compass Magazine is withholding your comment (that is what is showing at the moment).

    • LduPreez

      Please explain why any Southern Africa Union church worker would want to discredit Ratsara, UNLESS that worker KNEW what Ratsara/Bonya had done? That worker SHOULD be “disgruntled” if s/he was aware of what Bonya had done for Ratsara, and any subsequent cover-up. Don’t blame any disgruntled worker – it would be Ratsara and Bonya who brought this upon themselves. Put the blame where it goes.

      Great church leaders have integrity; they are transparent, and honest; and do their own doctoral work.

      • Mashudu Ravhengani

        The disgruntled worker felt Pastor Ratsara prevented his ambition to be a Union President or being considered for a departmental position at the SID. He is just someone who has a huge ego, who thinks he deserved more than he was given.

        • LduPreez

          I would agree that Pastor Ratsara is energetic. Perhaps the person you claim is disgruntled KNEW full well about Ratsara and Bonya (it has been an ongoing situation for some time now)?

          But keep in mind that it was a whole committee (not just one “disgruntled” person) who voted that they did not approve of what Ratsara did. And Ratsara resigned from his position (or was he basically forced to resign?).

        • Clinton Plaatjes

          How did Ratsara end up on the island where he is now … maybe he too thinks he deerseved more than he was given… slick move on his part, very smooth.

          • LduPreez

            Yes, evidently Pastor Ratsara did think he deserved more; as did his fellow countrymen, which nevertheless, accepted him back with open arms, and Ratsara has been pastoring a church there. Very strange indeed; but we do know that the GC top leadership did not want Ratsara to resign. That is very scary and disconcerting; but then one can better understand why it is that Ratsara was able to still get a job pastoring.

        • LduPreez

          With your supportive comments, couldn’t someone also say that perhaps YOU were doing this because you are eager to get a job working for the SAU or the SID?

          Mashudu Ravhengani wrote: The disgruntled worker felt Pastor Ratsara prevented his ambition to be a Union President or being considered for a departmental position at the SID. He is just someone who has a huge ego, who thinks he deserved more than he was given.

          • Gunther Dübendorf

            Does Br Mashudu work for the SAU or SID? Is he a colegue of the “ambitious” brother?

        • Gunther Dübendorf

          Mashidu I hear something along these lines when I was in St Antonio. Is the brother working still or has he retired?

    • Clinton Plaatjes

      Please provide evidence of your claim above. The great leader you refer too above “earned” a PHD business and management in 2011 from Hertfordshire University. I am in possession of a receipt showing he paid for it. Care to explain why a great leader would do a thing like that ? Just wondering …. check his resume he has claimed this degree over and over … seriously he would have been a great leader had he simply apologized for his discretion.

      • LduPreez

        On point Clinton Plaatjes. Alas, some seem too proud to admit and make right.

      • LduPreez

        So you’re saying that Hertfordshire University is basically a paper-mill (which has degrees for purchase)?

    • LduPreez

      MINUTES… REGISTERED DISPLEASURE ABOUT RATSARA’S QUALIFICATIONS. In the official minutes for the meeting, the Action (#16-043) concerning registering displeasure against Ratsara’s qualifications read in full:

      MINUTES: WHEREAS the SID EXCOM noted a detailed presentation from Paul Ratsara pertaining, inter alia [i.e. ‘among other things’], to support he received in the compilation of his ThD qualification obtained from UNISA; and NOTING that there may be some diverse interpretations on what would constitute possible excessive reliance on research support Paul Ratsara may have received in the compilation of his ThD Thesis; and NOTING further that, according to Paul Ratsara, the ThD qualification passed the institutional test of plagiarism by UNISA; VOTED in the context of the aforegoing and only limited thereto, to express the EXCOM’s displeasure to Paul Ratsara for the manner in which he acquired his ThD qualification.”

    • Gunther Dübendorf

      Br Mashudu did SAUC in any way deals with the worker who caused trouble

  • Nary Nirina

    #### WHAT A DECISION? READ CAREFULLY THE FOLLOWING 05 REASONS WHY HIS INTEGRITY IS QUESTIONABLE ####

    1. INTEGRITY ABOVE ALL THINGS:
    Integrity is something that we, as Adventist Christians, can not take lightly.

    You won’t be granted Heaven by the greatness of how you did things, rather Heaven is concerned on how Faithful you did it! That’s how we will be judged. (Matthew 25:21)

    2. WHY A DECLARING A PhD IF HE HAS ONLY A DTh?
    Oh! His degree is DTh (Doctor of Theology), but if he is really faithful, how come he accepted or presented himself as a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) in the Ministry Magazine February 2013, page 6, when he co-authored with Dr. Richard M. Davidson the «Dealing with doctrinal issues in the church»? Who is lying? Ministry Magazine or Him?

    ● PDF link is https://gcmin-rnr.s3.amazonaws.com/cdn/ministrymagazine.org/issues/2013/issues/MIN2013-02.pdf
    ● Feb. 2013 Website link is https://www.ministrymagazine.org/archive/2013/02/dealing-with-doctrinal-issues-in-the-church

    3. WHY REPEATEDLY DECLARING HAVING PhD FROM 19MONTHS BEFORE SEP. 2014?
    If he got only a DTh (Doctor of Theology) validated by the UNISA Council and Senate on 8th September 2014, how come he pretended himself repeatedly to have a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) on four editorials of Ministry Reivew for February, April, June 2013, the first review published 1.5 years ahead? Why he has not reported about that? Who is lying? Ministry Magazine or Him?

    ● Apr. 2013 Website link is https://www.ministrymagazine.org/archive/2013/04/dealing-with-doctrinal-issues-in-the-church:-part-2
    ● June. 2013 Website link is https://www.ministrymagazine.org/archive/2013/06/dealing-with-doctrinal-issues-in-the-church:-part-3

    4. MOST IMPORTANT about Ps. Ratsara’s MASTERS DEGREE???
    In the Adventist Review published on July 6, 2005, I quote «He has a master of divinity degree equivalency from the Adventist University Zurcher in Madagascar», page 7 (1st Paragraph).

    ● #4.1. Adventist University Zurcher is an undergraduate University and cannot deliver any Masters Degree till now (2018). The first Masters in Pastoral Theology cohort, offered by Adventist University of Africa, at Zurcher University, Madagascar only began on 2017. So How come he has a Masters of Divinity Degree from Zurcher University?

    ● #4.2. If his Master’s degree is fictitious, then how was he able to enroll at UNISA for his Doctoral Degree?

    ● #4.3. Can we really trust in UNISA who is delivering this certification if Ps Ratsara, whom they certify for Doctoral Degree has not even a Masters Degree?

    ● July 6, 2005 PDF link is http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Periodicals/GCSessionBulletins/GCB2005-05.pdf

    5. As a Church, we have to rely not on the greatness of a person, but only on what the Bible says. Because «A bishop[Pastor] then must be blameless […] Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.» (1 Timothy 3:2,7, NKJV)

    «Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
    But those who deal truthfully are His delight.» (Proverbs 12:22, NKJV)

    I hope he learns and will repent from this unfortunate situation, and not to be showing as a victim. As we say here in Madagascar, «Ny marina toy ny afo ka raha kobonina mandoro» (Truth is life a fire, if you hide it you will be burnt).

  • LduPreez

    Good points here Nary. Clearly there are issues with the CV/Resume. Many questions have been raised, and rightly so.

  • LduPreez

    THIS NOTE FROM SOMEONE (I know) WHO READ/SAW THE RELEVANT SID/SAU MINUTES:

    There was an SID EXCOM meeting chaired by the GC President. Prior to that there was a meeting of all Union Presidents of the SID. In both meetings, there was evidence and confessions presented. People were interrogated for long. The evidence there was so significant that the SID EXCOM voted to “to express its displeasure in the way Paul Ratsara got his PhD”.

    Ratsara resigned and its not a small matter to force such a resignation. …

    UNISA went with evidence they received and if some evidence was withheld [like the SID/SAU Minutes], UNISA could not do anything. Based on what UNISA had at their disposal they had to come to the conclusion they came to.

    • LduPreez

      Moreover, Ratsara put Hopeson Bonya in a predicament, since Ratsara was Bonya’s boss. It was unfair of Ratsara to even ask Bonya to be complicit in this deceptive activity. Bonya should have said No; but it seems that more of the blame lies with a president who would ask an employee under him to be complicit in such an activity.

      I understand that when Bonya was asked by someone, Why he did it, his reply was: “What could I do? Ratasara was my boss.”

  • LduPreez

    As CompassMagazine Says on their website: “The greatest want of the world is the want of men—men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.” ~ Ellen G. White, Education, p. 57

    https://thecompassmagazine.com/about

  • Chung

    Don’t you think that you should ask Ministry magazine, instead of assuming that someone is “lying”. That’s a very strong accusation. It is possible that Ministry magazine made the mistake and put down PhD and continued to do so and no one noticed the error. Regardless, they are both doctorate degrees. Does one command more respect than the other? I truly do not know.

    • LduPreez

      What questions are you saying Nary should ask Ministry Magazine? Sorry, but suggesting that Nary ask Ministry Magazine seems like a disingenuous and deliberate distraction. Just like UNISA, how would Ministry Magazine know whether or not a person provided false credentials? People tend to assume you are telling the truth – and they bank on that to get away with shenanigans, if you will.

      You truly do need to update yourself on the information which has already been published, before you make your own accusations. The point here has nothing really to do whether or not Ratsara claimed he had done a PhD or a DTh. The point is, that regardless of the degree, the years and timing he has provided, in writing, are off.

      • Chung

        I didn’t accuse anyone of anything. I merely suggested that your zeal for WO might be clouding your judgement (while admitting that opposition to WO could be clouding mine – also, I was very blessed by Pastor Ratsara’s sermons during a time I was coming into the SDA truths so I do have a bias). I definitely didn’t accuse Nary of anything. My point was that Ministry Magazine may have made the error of using PhD vs. DTh. It may have been an honest mistake. Jumping to the conclusion that someone was “lying” seemed extreme. Don’t you think we should try to find out from the sources first, before publicly accusing anyone of lying? Also, what is the already published information that I am missing? I’ve read what I could find. According to the most current information, Dr. Ratsara has been exonerated. Again, if you have actual evidence, please show me.

  • The Moshe

    Praise the Lord for this good news. I believe the moral of the story is to stick to the facts and the truth. Thank you Compass for writing such an article. 1) It is important to remember that Elder Ratsara had already received an Honorary Doctorate in Divinity from Solusi University before he earned his doctorate at UNISA. 2) Ratsara also got his theological degree in the 80’s from the Seminary in Mauritius under the European system (i.e Bogenhofen Seminary, today) which was eventually morphed later into Zurcher University in Madagascar, under a system similar to ours here in the US. Under the new system Zurcher did not offer graduate degrees until 2018, though technically Ratsara’s degree was completed at a seminary level in the French system. (The editor of the review article might have made an editorial mistake here, which wouldn’t be unheard of today.) 3) In addition, Ratsara in the early 90’s completed a graduate degree at AUP in the Philippines, which interestingly the review article did not mention. 4) There is no record, as far as I know, of Ratsara personally claiming he had received a Phd instead of a Dth degree, as-well. Just because someone said so, or published so… doesn’t mean it is true. That is how we got to here in the first place. 5) I would rather trust a 2-year intensive investigation, rather than statements or ambiguous assumptions by certain entities, who’s fruits speak for themselves. 6) To me the only “Ghostwriters” in this story are the leakers who tried to make us believe a lie. 6) The moral of the story is — stick to the facts. Don’t cast judgment on the Lord’s anointed, because you don’t agree with them on certain issues. He is still our brother in Christ, if we call ourselves Christians. 7) We owe Pr. Ratsara an apology. We are better than this. To try to slander his name further after God has vindicated the man, will just make a fool of ourselves, and could jeopardize our salvation.

    • Chung

      Thank you for your post. Your point #2 helps to answer the accusation regarding the timing around Pastor Ratsara’s master’s degree and explains why the Review article referred to it as a “master of divinity degree equivalency from the Adventist University Zurcher” (emphasis mine). Sadly, there will still be those who will try to tear down a fellow brother in Christ due to unrelated differences on policy or personal vendetta.

      • LduPreez

        Chung, To what “personal vendetta” are you referring here? I know of no personal vendetta. Unless you mean a motive of trying to keep our church leaders accountable for their actions…

        • Chung

          The amount of vitriol and incessant repetition of unfounded accusations led me to ask a different poster if they had a personal vendetta against Pr. Ratsara. I wasn’t referring to you. Apologies, if that is how it seemed.

  • Amos Saurombe

    Any credible university in the world will have long-standing internal and external processes that it puts in place to prove the credibility and integrity of its qualification if questions are raised. Therefore, one needs to know that from the onset, the process of clearing Ratsara’s name was not a once off event; the University has long-standing process and procedures in dealing with matters like these. Even though I do not speak for Unisa in this matter, I am proud UNISAN (Full Professor of Law & former Head of Post Graduate Studies in the College of Law). I am also an Adventist and an ordained Elder of the Church. This discussion makes me really sad in that the Church, albeit a few individuals want to fight their political battles using whatever they can find, even when it is not the truth. In this case the University has done its work diligently. The fact that the outcome is not favorable to certain individuals should not be used to discredit the University, after all the University engaged an independent process to reach this decision. The University will not hesitate to withdraw a qualification that was conferred as a result of academic dishonesty. UNISA will not gain anything by sweeping anything like this under the carpet; On the contrary, any withdrawal of a qualification can also point to the strength of the University’s academic integrity. What I see in this now is a small group of people whose agenda is now to continue to discredit the Pastor and the Church while at the same time use Unisa as battleground. It needs to be stated clearly that the University (as a legal person) has rights to protect its image and in the same manner its Alumnus, it will be very sad one day for these individuals to face damaging lawsuits that can also drag the church along in the muddy places. Can we respect the space of academic integrity for UNISA; some of us are proud workers of this Institution and devout supporters of the Adventist mission. Yesterday, the University’s Main Campus in Pretoria hosted the Adventist TMI event, let us not allow the devil to destroy the mission for our master’s soon return!!

    • LduPreez

      On the contrary, UNISA stands to gain back its reputation (by sweeping this under the rug), AND by exonerating Ratsara – UNISA was either seriously misled by Ratsara, or UNISA did not effectively check out the resume degrees which Ratsara claimed to have. This does not make them look good.

      Also, UNISA cannot do its work diligently, unless and until the GC / SID / SAU provides the Minutes of the meeting in which Hopeson Bonya admitted/confessed to writing for Ratsara. What hard evidence has the investigation provided to exonerate Ratsara? None, really.

      Yes, it is sad when such questionable actions by church leaders come to light in the media, and thus tend to give the church a black eye.

  • Nnenna Nwakanma

    Oh wow!! This is such a great way to begin my week. There is a place in the Bible, in Job, where it says “For He knows the way that I do take, and when He has finished trying me, I will come forth as gold”.. that is the text ringing in my head just now…

    This life…

  • Pastor D

    Brother, Pastor Ratsara earned a PhD in Leadership and received a DD (honoris causa) at the time those Ministry magazine articles were written and later published (2012-2013). You don’t have to take my word for it, check with UNISA. These allegations are not new. They spent 2 years intensely investigating the man, Bonya, etc., and fully exonerated him. That speaks volumes. UNISA has no problem removing fraudulent degrees or taking legal action against questionable individuals.

    • LduPreez

      Again, UNISA has every reason to gain from exonerating themselves, and Pastor Ratsara. This (less-than-transparent) matter has brought a black-eye on both. And you’re right, the allegations are not new – this problem has been ongoing for quite a few years. Thankfully it finally has been brought to light.

      UNISA can only go with the information they were provided from SID – and evidently they did not get the SID Minutes in which Hopeson Bonya admitted/confessed to writing 5 of the 6 chapters FOR Ratsara, and there was much discussion, and the committee voted their displeasure with what Ratsara did. Then he ‘resigned. Why would all this be?

      Moreover, those who requested that UNISA do an investigation have received no word from UNISA in response.

      • Pastor D

        Wasn’t Bonya investigated as-well, isn’t that what the letter is clearing Pastor Ratsara of? Anyways at this point, I love you as a sister in Christ Mrs. Du Preez. I will keep you in my prayers. Please do the same for us.

        • LduPreez

          I have never stopped praying about this situation. It is sad. It is disheartening. It is something that we do need to pray about. We need truthful and transparent leaders in our church. Thank you for the prayers.

      • Nathi23

        I hope I am not being condescending as you have accused me earlier. But have no choice but to say this. Please try to formulate opinions on the basis of proven facts. What you are accusing Unisa of is very serious. You also have not provided a reason why Unisa would want to cover up for Dr. Ratsara. You want us to believe you without presenting any facts?

        • LduPreez

          Nathi23, Yes, I felt your earlier comment was condescending.

          As I’ve said elsewhere, UNISA and Ratsara have a black eye because of negative the publicity they caused – when UNISA evidently allowed Ratsara into the PhD program without UNISA vetting thoroughly Ratsara’s documentation / degrees / dates for entry into the PhD program. Apparently UNISA took Ratsara’s word for it (or his questionable documentation).

          My husband earned a doctoral degree from UNISA, so it is not my intention to put UNISA in bad light. But surely you can understand why UNISA was eager to exonerate Ratsara – because in so doing, UNISA so also exonerated themselves.

          Yet, where is the hard evidence provided in this independent investigation?

  • LduPreez

    So are you supporting those leaders who would be less-than-transparent with their degrees? Do you think it’s best just to remain silent on such matters, and thus allow the deceptive people to continue in their enabling behavior? What will that do to the church. What has that already done to our beloved church?

    Jesus also said, GO and SIN NO MORE.

    No, I don’t hold a grudge, but I DO hold leader/people accountable. We all should, lest they take the church down with them.

    My husband has a doctoral degree from UNISA – it has been a good experience. So I have nothing against UNISA. I think their hands are tied, unless and until the SID will hand over the original committee Minutes, in which the discussion was noted, and the decision voted.

  • Nzaji Wa Milengu

    It’s sad what happened to our brother Pr Ratsara. We are concerned and support him through the hard times he has gone through.
    The thing is that our leaders should be truthful and provide correct standards about themselves. Having served in the Congo for example, he told the church that he did have a MBA from AIIAS in the Philippines while he only got a certificate after completing a BA from AUP. Dr David Razafiarivoni from his own union and I went to the registration office and couldn’t find him graduating with a MBA degree. He is an energetic leader, but very interested in climbing the ladder fast. Very interested in the position. The church is more of politicians now than spiritual. The way Ted Willson tried to bail him out of the mess was suspicious.

    • Pastor D

      Sister/Brother Nzaji, just a few factual corrections here. Pastor Ratsara’s “BA/Seminary” degree was completed at the Seminary in Phoenix, Mauritius. He met is late wife there. Today, the Seminary has been transferred to Zurcher Adventist University under the Union in Madagascar not the Division (that difference is important for some) . He earned his MBA at AUP not AIIAS. Probably that is why you could not find him in the AIIAS system. I hope this helps. Keep looking unto Jesus my friend.

      • Nzaji Wa Milengu

        Then there is much confusion created either by him or I don’t know people are just coming to his defense without much knowledge of his educational credentials. He has no MBA from AUP. While he was in the Congo, he was doing DES at the University of Kinshasa, DES is an equivalent of an MA in French education, he did not complete this course because he was assigned to Abidjan, Ivory Cost. We need our leaders to be honest and display high degree of integrity. What is known is that at AUP he did get a BA and not an MBA. People should stop misleading others.

        • Pastor D

          That is not uncommon to start a degree and transfer your credits to another institution, etc. But I am quite confident my friend, that he earned his MBA from AUP not AIIAS. You don’t have to take my word for it. But first, ask Dr. Duncan at Andrews University, who also taught at the Seminary in Mauritius, if Paul Ratsara was his student and did he graduate. Check with AUP. Check with UNISA. They have his manuscripts, resume etc. And they have found him to be in good standing, even after a thorough investigation. When there seems to be confusion, trust the facts, and go with what you know. Don’t assume. This is why, I reiterate again, this letter of vindication speaks volumes to his academic career. End of story.

          • Nzaji Wa Milengu

            Then, there was conspiracy against Pr Ratsara…Everyone in the meeting was just against him and there was no fair investigation on this matter and the church we love is biased towards Pr Ratsara. I think this is what some imply here, then a secular institution came to justify someone the church wrongly incriminated

          • LduPreez

            Nzaji Wa Milengu, The SAU / SID Committee officially voted their displeasure with the way Pr Ratsara handled his degree information (not transparent). It was not a conspiracy; rather it was an attempt to get Pr Ratsara, as well as Hopeson Bonya (the ghostwriter) to come clean.

            After this official vote, Pr Ratsara resigned, claiming, at least publicly, that he resigned because this mess (which he caused) was bringing bad light on the church (that part is accurate/truth). It was in such a meeting that Pr Ratsara’s ghostwriter came forward and confessed to writing 5 of the 6 chapters of Pr Ratsara’s dissertation.

            Unfortunately, UNISA did not vet Pr Ratsara’s entrance documentation/degrees thoroughly and thus they allowed Pr Ratsara into the PhD program. Moreover, Pr Ratsara asked an employee who worked under him, Hopeson Bonya, to write the PhD dissertation/thesis. So when this action by Pr Ratsara was discovered, and then the public learned of it (it was in the local news in South Africa), UNISA really had to do an investigation – all this was causing a black eye on both UNISA (and on Pr Ratsara). Thus, UNISA had every reason to exonerate Pr Ratsara, because in so doing, UNISA also exonerated themselves.

            But what hard evidence has UNISAs independent investigation provided?

          • Nzaji Wa Milengu

            Thx for clear explanations. I would trust the church decision on this matter. It’s not easy for all the people in the committee to just get a decision against someone without correct facts gathered. Pr Ratsara isn’t a clean guy.

      • Nzaji Wa Milengu

        Stress : He was claiming that he got a MBA degree at AIIAS in Congo! Why was he saying that? But he got a certificate instead!

    • Pastor D

      By the way, read his book “kidnapped” by Greg Budd. It will help inform you more on him. I am sure, he is not perfect. But I doubt that if he was hungry for position, He would step down from his position, which now we know, without any evidence of wrong doing.

      • Nzaji Wa Milengu

        He stepped down because he was was pushed. He did not have other choice. I know him quiet well he is a guy hungry of position. This is the fact. Pr Ted flew from Rwanda where he was holding a very important crusade to come to his rescue, it suspicious. I am sad to see guys climbing to position by playing dirty cards. Protecting each other because of the votes they get from different union delegates. There is something wrong going on with the church we love and belong.

        • LduPreez

          Well said Nzaji Wa Milengu, And sad to say it but you are correct – quite curious that TW (suddenly) left Rwanda for South Africa because of the SID vote of no confidence in how Pr Ratsara handled his PhD information. Did Pr Ratsara call his close friend, TW and ask him to come to come to South Africa to try and rescue him? And thus TW even refused to accept Pr Ratsara’s resignation, despite what the SID had voted.

          Often what happens when a person has to resign, is the employer gives the person the option of submitting their own resignation; or they can opt to have the employer terminate the person. Apparently, Ratsara chose to submit his own resignation – but most of us know/understand that it was a forced – or pushed – resignation.

          I am keeping our church and our leaders in prayer. We need transparent leaders to lead us into the heavenly kingdom. It is all very heart-breaking.

          • Nzaji Wa Milengu

            Really TW acted shamelessly. God’s work will continue in spite of the politisation of the church. Leaders are trying to protect their allies in order to drive their own agenda

          • Dan Jacobs

            “I am keeping our church and our leaders in prayer. We need transparent leaders to lead us into the heavenly kingdom. It is all very heart-breaking.”:

            If you depend on humans to lead you, rather than Christ Himself, you may need to examine yourself to see if the “heavenly kingdom” you are speaking of is in fact the Kingdom of Jesus Christ; or the one established by those claiming to be Christians but do lie; who have no part, nor are they able to enter the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

          • LduPreez

            As a church body, we DO have human leaders – and they should be transparent as is Christ. They should represent Christ to those whom God has given them charge.

          • Dan Jacobs

            You need to specify who “we” are? And who says “God has given them charge”? Simply because they where trained by humans to become pastors, in their own colleges? And speaking of being lead by human leaders: do you mean like the Israelites, who wanted human kings to rule over them; and Eve who decided to listen to someone other than GOD—just like many today who continually refuse to accept the Words of Jesus, Who desires to speak to their hearts through the promised indwelling Spirit of GOD? Here is the True will of GOD for all who believe and accept Jesus Christ His Son as
            Saviour:

            “1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;” Heb. 1:1, 2;

            25 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” John 14:26;

            “13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” John 16:13, 14;

            “23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” John 14:23;

            “6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” Gal. 4:6, 7;

            “4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4.

            “11 No longer will they teach their neighbour, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.” (Heb. 8:10-12).

            So who should lead us to GOD’s Kingdom? Man, of Christ?:

            “6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6).

            Let me ask this question: If pastors are your leaders, then who leads the pastors? Of course, no one! Why? Because they have been trained to know all things pertaining to the Kingdom of GOD, at least they think so. Because the next question would be: Who trained them? Well, this article answers that question.
            I wasn’t singling you out from the rest of the participants here; I just found your statement very unusual.
            May you experience a personal Spiritual relationship with Christ Jesus.

          • Dan Jacobs

            I think you need to specify who “we” are? And who says “God has given them charge”? Simply because they were trained by humans to become pastors, in their own colleges? And speaking of being led by human leaders: do you mean like the Israelites, who wanted human kings to rule over them; and Eve who decided to listen to someone other than GOD—just like many today who continually refuse to accept the Words of Jesus, Who desires to speak to their hearts through the promised indwelling Spirit of GOD? Here is the True will of GOD for all who believe and accept Jesus Christ His Son as Saviour:

            “1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;” Heb. 1:1, 2;

            25 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” John 14:26;

            “13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” John 16:13, 14;

            “23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” John 14:23;

            “6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” Gal. 4:6, 7;

            “4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4.

            “11 No longer will they teach their neighbour, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.” (Heb. 8:10-12).

            So who should lead us to GOD’s Kingdom? Man, of Christ?:

            “6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6).

            Let me ask this question: If pastors are your leaders, then who leads the pastors? Of course, no one! Why? Because they have been trained to know all things pertaining to the Kingdom of GOD, at least they think so. Because the next question would be: Who trained them? Well, this article answers that question.

            I wasn’t singling you out from the rest of the participants here; I just found your statement very unusual.

            May you experience a personal Spiritual relationship with Christ Jesus.

      • LduPreez

        Actually, there was indeed sufficient evidence – which is why the SID officially voted their displeasure with the way Pr Ratsara presented/handled the PhD dissertation. Which such a lack of support – or a vote of no confidence, did Pr Ratsara have a choice but to step down?

  • Phillip Brantley

    The UNISA letter, which is conclusory, does not exonerate Paul Ratsara but revive a dormant scandal. Hopeson Bonya’s dramatic and public confession during the SID EXCOM meeting to ghost-writing five of the six chapters of Ratsara’s thesis remains dispositive. So long as Bonya’s confession remains uncontroverted, (and to date no effort has been made to controvert his confession), Ratsara and his reputation will remain under a cloud.

    • LduPreez

      Phillip Brantley. So.Well.Said. And insightful.

  • Dan Jacobs

    Well, 133 comments later, including this one—how does all this bring anyone closer to
    Christ?

    How about having a conversation about the validity and plagiarism which shrouds the writings of Ellen White? Too controversial for some; won’t get any takers on that one? What is the difference between her and Paul Ratsara? Are they not humans who belong to the Adventist church? But I hear some crying out: Don’t touch her; she is our prophet sent from God! I say: Prove it! And what a waste of time that will be!

  • Nzaji Wa Milengu

    And this story written about his kidnapping seems controversial. I hope people in the Congo can read the book and tell us if this story is true.

  • Lizwi Alpha Ntuli

    I have read the comments by others who have better information than me and all I can say that either way this whole episode is very sad. If indeed he is guilty, is he the only one? If he is not guilty as UNISA says, what are the motives of those who still maintain he is guilty? And for how long did church leaders know about this scenario and keep it under wraps? Why did this Bonya choose a particular moment to confess and not sooner? Just me thinking…

    • LduPreez

      REGISTERED DISPLEASURE ABOUT RATSARA’S QUALIFICATIONS. In the official minutes for the meeting, the Action (#16-043) concerning registering displeasure against Ratsara’s qualifications read in full:

      MINUTES: WHEREAS the SID EXCOM noted a detailed presentation from Paul Ratsara pertaining, inter alia [i.e. ‘among other things’], to support he received in the compilation of his ThD qualification obtained from UNISA; and NOTING that there may be some diverse interpretations on what would constitute possible excessive reliance on research support Paul Ratsara may have received in the compilation of his ThD Thesis; and NOTING further that, according to Paul Ratsara, the ThD qualification passed the institutional test of plagiarism by UNISA; VOTED in the context of the aforegoing and only limited thereto, to express the EXCOM’s displeasure to Paul Ratsara for the manner in which he acquired his ThD qualification.”

      • Gunther Dübendorf

        Almost 140 posts. A writer- ghost or otherwise – could come up with quite a story.

        Accusations of a disgruntled worker ambitious for a position; accusations of manufactured qualifications from different , ever-changing institutions; a group of academics mysteriously banding together to discredit a “fellow academic”; a doctoral thesis that no-one seems to have seen; an aspirant to the GC presidency banishing himself to the Seychelles; a report in the Compass surfacing out of nowhere.

        So many what ifs.

    • Nzaji Wa Milengu

      UNISA finding him not guilty, the church which we trust found him guilty. Which one should we trust? If he is not the only one guilty, so what? There shouldn be discipline in the church anymore right?

  • LduPreez

    SID EXCOM …

    On May 24, 2016, a special meeting of the SID EXCOM was held, chaired by Elder TW, GC President [note: TW left his evangelistic meetings in Rwanda to attend this meeting]. And, it was at this meeting that Hopeson Bonya came forward and confessed that he’d written five of the six chapters of Ratsara’s thesis. With this confession in hand, the May 17, 2016 decision to conduct a forensic investigation was rescinded.

    A motion to “register displeasure at the way the doctorate was obtained by Paul Ratsara” was narrowly passed (30 in favor, 28 against).

    REGISTERED DISPLEASURE ABOUT RATSARA’S QUALIFICATIONS. In the official minutes for the meeting, the Action (#16-043) concerning registering displeasure against Ratsara’s qualifications read in full:

    MINUTES: WHEREAS the SID EXCOM noted a detailed presentation from Paul Ratsara pertaining, inter alia [i.e. ‘among other things’], to support he received in the compilation of his ThD qualification obtained from UNISA; and NOTING that there may be some diverse interpretations on what would constitute possible excessive reliance on research support Paul Ratsara may have received in the compilation of his ThD Thesis; and NOTING further that, according to Paul Ratsara, the ThD qualification passed the institutional test of plagiarism by UNISA; VOTED in the context of the aforegoing and only limited thereto, to express the EXCOM’s displeasure to Paul Ratsara for the manner in which he acquired his ThD qualification.”

    At the end of the the SID EXCOM meeting, TW asked Ratsara if he wanted to say something, and Ratsara replied that he wished to step down, indicating it would be difficult to serve because of what amounted to a no-confidence vote against him by the committee. TW asked Ratsara to sleep on it before making a decision, and indicated that the GCs executive leadership might not be willing to accept his resignation. But, by 29 May 2016, Ratsara confirmed his resignation (both to the GC and to the SID officials), then and on 31 May 2016, the GC Executive Committee had accepted it.

    WHY WAS ANN ARTICLE REMOVED? A statement – which was originally published on the ANN (Adventist News Network) website, was subsequently removed, but had quoted Ratsara as saying, “To refocus the church that I love, back to its God-given mission, and to prevent it continuing to be distracted, I have humbly decided to voluntarily request reassignment as a local church district pastor somewhere within the territory of the Indian Ocean Union, my home union.”

  • Lizwi Alpha Ntuli

    I am reading the arguments for and against Ratsara but to me it does not matter anymore. Here’s why. Bonya, if it is true that he did what he later confessed to have done, is also a fake Christian. In the first place he was supposed to have refused to do it. What caused him to confess later?

    Then my other problem has to do with whether or not Pastor Ratsara is alone in this. How many Pastors are occupying responsible positions have skeletons in the cupboard? The whole saga reflects very badly on my church. That is my main concern.

    • Nzaji Wa Milengu

      Indeed this saga wasn’t clean. Yes there are many more issues like these in the church and it’s doesn’t reflect what we believe. We hope to learn from this.

  • LduPreez

    Apparently, even The Compass Magazine has some questions regarding Mr Ratsara – which deserve some answers: https://thecompassmagazine.com/news/unanswered-questions-follow-south-african-universitys-ratsara-vindication