Sane Salif, the man Sowetan exposed for making thousands of rand from running bogus colleges around Gauteng, has been arrested.
"We are charging him with fraud," said police spokesperson Captain Steady Nawa.
Salif, 40, registered the colleges under a non-profit-making organi-sation, African Gainako Poverty Alleviation Project, but instead operated them for profit - and issued valueless certificates to unsuspecting students.
He operated the colleges like a pyramid scheme, forcing students to recruit others as surety to obtain his useless certificates.
He was nabbed by the commercial crimes unit at one of his colleges in Doornfontein, Johannesburg.
"Why are journalists here when I get arrested? This is wrong," Salif said as he was being led away.
His colleges were offering call-centre and computer courses, and he used the logos of reputable institutions that included the Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA) on his valueless certificates.
The Seta opened a case of fraud against him after Sowetan exposed his operations.
Sowetan spent four days at the Orlando East college in Soweto, where it was discovered that the institution also worked as a pyramid scheme. Students doing a one-week call-centre course paid R17 for notes, R175 to write the exam and another R35 for a profile photo.
Those who wished to proceed to a computer course paid an extra R225. Each student was also required to recruit two others to register before they got a qualification certificate.
Salif ran institutions in Orlando, Katlehong and Doornfontein.
HWSETA spokesperson Shirley Pressly declined to comment about Salif's arrest. "The matter is now sub judice. We will let justice take its course," Pressly said.