Government crackdown on fraudulent qualifications

Blade+NzimandeJOHANNESBURG – The government says it is determined to crack down on qualification fraud in the public sector.

Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande has already called for a name and shame register, to expose public sector officials who lie about their qualifications.

All departments are now required to act decisively against officials with fake degrees or diplomas.

In recent months, several government officials have been caught out.

The latest is South Africa’s ambassador to Japan, Mohau Pheko, who claimed to have a doctorate which she did not.

Pheko claimed she received her PhD from the American La Salle University in 2000. However, the university closed in 1996 when it emerged it was selling degrees and other academic qualifications via the internet.

Pheko told the SABC the university was promoted as legitimate and that she had registered at it, but it closed before she could be awarded her doctorate.

Other key incidents of false representation include senior member of the African National Congress and former MP Pallo Jordan, and former SABC chairwoman Ellen Tshabalala.

In December, Tshabalala resigned after she was unable to provide proof of her qualifications following an inquiry by a parliamentary committee.

Jordan resigned from Parliament and the ANC’s national executive committee last year after revelations that he had lied about having a PhD.

Former KwaZulu-Natal police spokesman Vincent Mdunge was expected to appear in the Durban Regional Court on Wednesday for a sentencing date after the court found him guilty of using a fraudulent matric certificate when he joined the police in 1987.


– Additional reporting Sapa

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