Hunt on for teachers with fake qualifications

Maths teacher. This picture is used here for illustrative purposes only Photo - Stock image
Maths teacher. This picture is used here for illustrative purposes only Photo - Stock image

Teachers with fraudulent qualifications have been warned by the South African Council for Educators (Sace), saying it is coming for them and they have nowhere to hide.

Yesterday, at a media briefing in Centurion, the council said it had detected over 20 cases of teachers with fraudulent qualifications.

Chief operations officer Matseliso Dipholo said the council had been dealing with a number of fraudulent qualifications since June.

She said universities that were the most targeted in the scam of fraudulent qualifications were the University of Zululand (UniZulu), Unisa and North West University.

The council's chief executive Rej Brijraj said: "Council warns teachers who are teaching with fraudulent qualifications to leave the profession immediately.

"Council will deregister such teachers and report them to the relevant authorities."

Dipholo said the council would today be opening a case of fraud against a Limpopo teacher who had been teaching with bogus qualifications from University of Venda for over 20 years.

She said the teacher got wind that the council was on to her and resigned.

However, the council had advised her resignation be put on hold until it concluded its report, but the teacher was no longer teaching at the school.

During its investigation, the council picked up that the Limpopo department of education has been investigating the teacher's fake qualifications since 2006 but never finalised its investigation .

Dipholo said this also suggests that some teachers are being shielded by officials.

"When you are teaching, someone is paying your salary, someone signed for your employment so when we investigate someone has to account because we say: 'These are your signatures, you were aware of this educator. What happened until now and how are we going to recover state money out of this person that has been earning for the last 20 years?'."

Dipholo said the council had also picked up three cases in Mpumalanga of teachers who had bought their qualifications under the pretence they obtained them from UniZulu.

Dipholo said the teachers were all working at the same school and had since stopped. They had all been deregistered.

She said UniZulu had also opened a case against 25 teachers from Ekurhuleni who claimed they qualified from the university. She said the case was in court.

The teachers also used the same fake qualifications to register with the council when they were employed in 2012.

Dipholo said the council had started with the verifying of qualifications of teachers from private and independent schools and would soon be moving to public schools.

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