Fake certificates: cops freed on warning

FIVE Mpumalanga police constables, including three reservists, charged with using fraudulent matric certificates, have been released on warning by the court.

The reservists, who are among the 13 arrested last week for having applied for jobs in the service using fraudulent matric certificates, were released on warning by the Machadodorp magistrate's court at the weekend.

Two of the constables had certified the fake certificates as authentic.

Their appearance followed the arrest of Bongani Madonsela of Emthonjeni township near Machadodorp last Tuesday.

Madonsela was arrested for producing fake bank cards, matric certificates and university diplomas and degrees among other documents.

Captain Leonard Hlathi of the provincial organised crime unit said reservists Gugukethu Thobela, 26, Philemon Sekwane, 24, and Lettie Ntuli, 24 stationed at Machadodorp used fraudulent qualifications to join the police service.

Constables Christopher Shabangu, 38, and Geelbooi Mkhwanazi, 32, were arrested for allegedly having certified fake certificates.

They pleaded not guilty to fraud charges, while Madonsela pleaded not guilty to charges of uttering, forgery, fraud and piracy.

Hlathi said the three reservists informed the court on Friday that they had intended to plead guilty to the charges of fraud and uttering at their next appearance.

Their case was postponed to November 25.

The police arrested Madonsela at his house after a tip-off by members of the community about his producing and selling various types of educational certificates.