Hopes that Bill will root out fake qualifications
Publish date: 05 December 2018
Issue Number: 266
Diary: Legalbrief Workplace
Government is intent on cleaning up its act under President Cyril Ramaphosa and one of the measures is the crackdown on fake qualifications, writes Legalbrief Workplace. As previously reported in Legalbrief Policy Watch, Parliament has passed the National Qualifications Framework Bill, forcing the state to root out people with such qualifications. And the National Assembly has agreed, in the Bill, that those found with bogus qualifications will be named and shamed. The Bill was adopted by the majority of members and will now be referred to the National Council of Provinces for concurrence. According to Business Report, MPs from across the political divide said this was a step in the right direction as there would be a central database for people with qualifications. The report says SA has recently seen a number of people caught up in qualification scandals. This includes former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng, who was found by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to have lied about his credentials.
Misrepresentation of qualifications is a major concern in the public and private sectors, says Higher Education and Training Minister Naledi Pandor. Business Day reports that speaking in a heated debate on the National Qualifications Framework Amendment Bill, Pandor said it strengthened the ability of South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA ) to verify qualifications. ‘The Bill does not impose an intolerable burden. We have an extensive learner database within SAQA with over 20m learner records on what is a digital database, which can be accessed fairly speedily. We believe this legislation and its requirements are enforceable,’ said Pandor.
The University of Zululand's dean of the faculty of arts, Professor Gregory Kamwendo, was allegedly killed after he uncovered a fraudulent PhD syndicate at the institution. A Sowetan report says Kamwendo was shot dead at his home in Empangeni in May and two men, including a lecturer at the same institution, were arrested for his murder at the weekend. Kamwendo's colleague allegedly hired a hitman for R10 000 to kill the professor because he had uncovered a fraudulent PhD syndicate in the university that involved three members of the academic staff. A source close to the investigation said the university was facing a crisis of fraudulent PhD degrees being granted to students and the academic in question had been suspended for the alleged criminal activities.
Two teachers in Mpumalanga have been arrested for allegedly landing their jobs by using fake qualifications. The Hawks are quoted in News24 as saying that Sibongile Rose Khuzwayo and Nonjabulo Bahle Mabuza were arrested and have appeared in court. The two had practised as teachers at Seme Secondary School for eight and two years respectively. ‘It is alleged that the Mpumalanga Department of Education suffered a combined loss of more than R2.4m,’ Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi said.