Massive fake degrees scandal uncovered at South African university

As many as 4,000 fake degrees may have been issued at the University of Zululand in Empangeni over the past 20 years, according to a report in the Sunday Times.

The university, which has approximately 16,000 students, proposed an investigation into all postgraduate degrees in law, business management, public administration and education at an extraordinary senate meeting on Monday.

The degrees-for-sale scandal is believed to have taken place on the university’s expanded campuses in Kwa- Dlangezwa and Richards Bay, with the latest scam involving between 400 and 500 fake degrees for teaching qualifications.

Citing an investigating officer, the Sunday Times reported that sources on campus said that that as many as 4,000 people had bought their academic qualifications from the university since 1996.

Two university employees – an internal investigating officer and an examination official – were suspended in June for their alleged involvement in the latest scam. The investigating officer said that more than two individuals were being investigated.

SAA board chairwoman Dudu Myeni was grilled in 2009 for claims that she had a BA degree from the university. Myeni later clarified that she was still studying towards the degree.

In 1997, five staff members were suspended for allegedly accepting bribes to alter student records. It was reported that they made R260,000 for selling 15 fake degrees.

10-years later, in 2007,  80 students were de-registered from the university for not having matric certificates. It was alleged that the ‘students’ bribed university officials to obtain their entrance exams.

A former student told the Sunday Times this week, that in 2007 and 2008, he had doctored the results of more than 1,000 students who had failed for a fee of between R500 and R5,000 per module.

Read the full article in the 31 July 2016 edition of the Sunday Times.

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Massive fake degrees scandal uncovered at South African university