In a move to totally end the trend of fake academic qualifications across South Africa, the cabinet has approved the submission of a bill to Parliament to help discover ways to deal with those who go about with fake qualifications.
Briefing the media on the plan so far, the Communications Minister Mmamaloko Kubayi said that the passage of the National Qualifications Framework Amendment Bill of 2016 will strengthen existing laws that are meant to stamp out fake qualifications and deal with perpetrators.
Kubayi said this after confirming that a lot of people in the country, including top government officials, go about lying about having academic certificates, degrees or diplomas.
She also said that the National Qualifications Framework Amendment Bill of 2016 which was released for public comment by then higher education and training minister Blade Nzimande last year, has in it measures which would be adopted in dealing with issues of misrepresentation.
It also imposes consequences on persons who misrepresent their qualifications or organisations that issue qualifications that are invalid.
The bill compels higher education institutions to be registered with the National Qualifications Framework, she Kubayi stated, adding that the bill followed a phenomenon whether private institutions were issuing invalid qualifications.
Over the past few years, there have been several instances in which politicians, government officials and the executives of state-owned companies have been found lying about their academic qualifications.
Last month, a GREATER Kokstad Municipality and ANC ward councillor was caught with an alleged fake matric certificate.
Mfundiso Figlan (40), a Ward 4 councillor in Shayamoya township was arrested by Kokstad Police Station officers after an argument allegedly broke out between him and the police after they refused to certify a copy of a matric document he had.
He was arrested after police became suspicious about the certificate’s barcode and the way the certificate was written looked as though it had been typed.
Police said when they questioned him he became rude and saying they can’t question his credentials.
He also said they won’t arrest him because “he knows police bosses”.
The Department of Education was later phoned and it was discovered that Figlan’s name did not appear anywhere within the department. He appeared in court on days later, facing charges of fraud.
He was given R1 000 bail. He will appear again on January 15, 2018.
The passage of the National Qualifications Framework Amendment Bill of 2016 will give guidelines on how to deal with people with fake qualifications.