The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has warned of a new scam service that is purporting to offer “genuine” matric certificates at a cost of R1,500.
In a statement on Thursday (5 December), the department said that social media pages selling the fake documents are exploiting desperate and often destitute individuals seeking to improve their lives.
“It is important that the Department alert members of the public to this as it threatens the integrity of the NSC Examination process as well as brining into question the security and authenticity of the matric certificate’’, said head of assessments Dr Rufus Poliah.
Poliah said that the department wishes to reiterate that:
- The Department of Basic Education is aware of members of the public who are fraudulently producing and offering to sell fake matric certificates;
- Umalusi is the only examinations quality assurance body;
- Matric certificates carry security features;
- Members of the public engaging in this practice will face the might of the law as this amounts to fraud.
South Africa recently enacted the National Qualifications Framework Amendment Act which makes it a criminal offence for individuals to misrepresent their qualifications, or for institutions who do not hold requisite accreditations to enrol students into their institutions.
Such a misrepresentation is punishable by a fine or a period of imprisonment not exceeding 5 years, or both.
“The Qualifications Act also creates a framework within which registers will be created for professional designations, misrepresentations and fraudulent qualifications by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA),” said Tracy Robbins, a senior associate at Baker Mckenzie.
“This means that in addition to criminal sanctions, those convicted under the Qualifications Act will also be ‘named and shamed’,” she said.