The Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande has had enough of South Africans faking and claiming qualifications they don’t have. As such, he’s calling for the construction of a register that will document people who lie about their qualifications to serve as a shame list that will deter South Africans from saying they are who they aren’t.
Divulging that the government is worried about the escalating number of incidents involving qualifications fraudsters, the Higher Education Minister indicated that it’s ideal to deal with those unregistered institutions offering useless qualifications to people, and as well those forging or misrepresenting their qualification.
“This is a very serious matter, insofar as it can also discredit our entire higher education system,” he stated and added that a simple way of resolving the problem “is, a name and shame list.”
“If you lie about your qualifications or you produce a false certificate, it is fraud already in terms of existing laws…the problem we have is that people take this so lightly, they don’t report.
Sometimes it gets reported and it’s taken as a very minor offence. We want it to be taken seriously by society as a whole,” Nzimande said.
He explained that harsher sanctions are needed to combat the problem, and added that the legislation ought to be amended to make provision for the “shame list register” which according to him, will be publicized.
Sometime in September last year, it was the deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa who called for people misrepresenting their academic qualifications in order to be employed in the public and private sector to be name-shamed and jailed.
Citing some instances of prominent South Africans who lied about their qualification, the vice president lamented that “such incidents do great damage to the credibility of our country’s education and training system.
We urge all public and private entities to make every effort to verify the qualifications of all prospective interviewees and directors and to report any suspected fraudulent activity to the South African police or the National Prosecuting Authority…Let us not be fakes. Let us not be fraudulent. When it comes to our qualifications, let us be properly educated people,” Ramaphosa pleaded.