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640 SA public officials allegedly have fake degrees

640 SA public officials allegedly have fake degrees

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says that as many as 640 public sector officials have misrepresented their qualifications, and should be discharged without delay.

Senior officials exposed this information at this week’s Portfolio Committee of Public Service and Administration.

The Department did however refuse to reveal the names and positions of the individuals who were found to have lied about their qualifications, the DA said.

An increasing number of civil servants are lying about their qualifications, the communications department said on Wednesday (4 March).

“The incidents of misrepresentation, which appear to be on the rise, will not be tolerated as they impact negatively on the reputation of the country, its institutions and the credibility of the National Qualifications Framework,” acting director general Donald Liphoko said.

All government departments, their entities and agencies needed to implement public service regulations to deal with the problem decisively, he said. Forging qualifications was illegal, he warned.

“We would like to caution people who are embellishing their CVs with fraudulent academic qualifications that the government is committed to rooting out such behaviour.”

There have been a number of scandals recently over public officials’ misrepresenting their academic qualifications.

These include senior member of the African National Congress and former MP Pallo Jordan, former SABC chairwoman Ellen Tshabalala, and South Africa’s ambassador to Japan, Mohau Pheko.

Pheko claimed she received her PhD from the American La Salle University in 2000. However, the university closed in 1996 when it emerged it was selling degrees and other academic qualifications via the internet.

Pheko told the SABC the university was promoted as legitimate and that she had registered at it, but it closed before she could be awarded her doctorate.

In December, Tshabalala resigned after she was unable to provide proof of her qualifications following an inquiry by a parliamentary committee.

Jordan resigned from Parliament and the ANC’s national executive committee last year after revelations that he had lied about having a PhD.

Liphoko urged South Africans to be aware of unscrupulous higher education institutions that were not registered with the department of higher education, nor accredited by official quality assurance bodies.

Former KwaZulu-Natal police spokesman Vincent Mdunge was expected to appear in the Durban Regional Court on Wednesday for a sentencing date after the court found him guilty of using a fraudulent matric certificate when he joined the police in 1987.

The DA said it will be submitting parliamentary questions to ascertain who these public servants are and what positions they currently hold in the Department to determine the full extent of the fraud and if any senior officials are themselves holders of these fake degrees.

“This raises serious questions about the verification systems that are used upon employment of our civil servants,” it said.

“The South African taxpayer already forks out in excess of R400 billion every year for a bloated and ineffective public service. Getting rid of the fraudsters should be the first step in cutting this public wage bill and restoring integrity to the civil service,” the DA said.

Reporting with Sapa.

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  • Ricardo Harvey

    They didnt need to lie about qualifications in the first place as they would still get the job

    • Jacko Superb

      only 640?? It can’t be…. they’re missing like two zeros there!

  • 3007

    Shame, does not matter. Let them have the jobs. Sometimes they turn out better than those who have qualifications. We must not let it happen to often though.Don’t be so mean.There’s one Cabinet Minister sitting tight with his Std. 8 school Certificate.

    • Duiwel

      The sarcasm is real

  • Real Ist

    This is as surprising to me as a news article revealing most people dislike Zuma

  • Macafrican

    How ironic is this part:
    “The incidents of misrepresentation, which appear to be on the rise, will not be tolerated as they impact negatively on the reputation of the country, its institutions and the credibility of the National Qualifications Framework,” acting director general Donald Liphoko said.

    There we go: if we cover up the fraud, our reputation will be saved. Viva! Voila!

    • Thinus

      TBH, i think i would rather try my luck in another Country than staying here and moving backwards. 60% of my family already moved regarding all these scandals pocking their heads out. What a pity 🙁

  • Gareth David

    But deceit is the aFREEcan natioANUL CONgress way…

  • Jo

    If there are so many with fraudulent qualifications, there is no chance of rooting out corruption and fraud in our country. And because so many of them were found out to have fraudulent qualifications, it is no wonder that no one ever verifies the authenticity of qualifications, when applications are made for new posts.
    Any half decent HR dept. will first verify qualifications, before even short listing any applicants.
    What makes this worse, is that they are still allowed to stay in those jobs. They should be fired immediately.
    If they can lie about their qualifications, then they can also lie about their work experience, or about what happened to money they spent on behalf of their employer. I think that the first thing they do when they get the job, is find out ways and means of siphoning public money from the government, into their own or family accounts.

  • Neil Glezer-Jones

    The should start by firing the Human Resources idiots.

    • Jacko Superb

      You’ll be shocked to see its the top people giving jobs lol

  • LouisG

    Discharged? They should be CHARGED.

    • Gideons Bende

      100 % agree – whish I could give a million “up” votes !!!

    • Jacko Superb

      they will be discharged with a HUGE bonus, full retirement package, retrenchment package, compensation packages, and probably still monthly salary while discharged. Ruining party, ANC- Together we move backwards

  • Duiwel

    I doubt even 10% of police in our country know the law.

  • Gideons Bende

    “We would like to caution people who are embellishing their CVs with fraudulent academic qualifications that the government is committed to rooting out such behaviour.” BWAH… HA…HA …HA … HAAAAA !!!

    BWAH… HA…HA …HA … HAAAAA !!!

    BWAH… HA…HA …HA … HAAAAA !!!

    BWAH… HA…HA …HA … HAAAAA !!!

  • Robert Dixon

    No, they should not be dismissed – they should be dismissed and PROSECUTED!

    The guvvamunt is committed to rooting out such behaviour.
    Oh, really.
    Then why did the SABC not fire and prosecute on the spot?
    Why did cANCer make out that Pallo Jordan had been a “good guy”?
    Why did the ambassador to Japan get the job if Canada had already rejected her because of the non-dgree from a fake institution?
    How do over a thousand people with criminal records become “policemen”?
    A bloated “civil service” that just don’t check ANYTHING!

    • Jacko Superb

      You’re wrong, they do check, that’s exactly why they got the jobs. If you’re a criminal, you are first preference

  • sneekyAkkad

    This whole story is a joke, the government had varoius projects running since 1998 to clean the all the qualifications recorded in their payroll/HR systems. Using the Eastern Cape Provincial Government with about 125 000 employees as a baseline, how accurate is the 640 problem cases? This equals to 0.5% for the ECPA and even less for the whole Public Sector, wat is the quality of reporting in Parlement based on this? Very Poor!!

    I’m not saying giving wrong qualifications are right, this is eye candy to get the attention away from bigger problems like no schools, hospitals, staff that is not working, etc.

  • PietSkiet

    Who paid for their fake degrees? Where did they buy it? Or did their type it out in MS word and print it on a dot-matrix printer and signed it themselves?

    I also want fake degrees!!! So we can do it also? What else is out there?
    1. “Free” electricity.
    2. Fake degrees.
    3. Fake drivers license (unless someone can drive me around and have police escourt me)
    4. … much more.

    When are we all going to be fed up and take a stand big enough to turn this country around?

    One good thing – 3000 people offered their time to help with the cape town fire. MANY more donations – and I don’t mean “send us some money nobody will ever see”. REAL stuff given to REAL people for REAL. It makes my heart nice and warm, because there are so MANY REAL South Africans ready for the good stuff and so gatvol of all this government bullshit.

    Point me to a gun… name is not pietskiet for nothing. I still vouch for 1day revolution whereby a SABC broadcasted public hanging will shock all the bad, selfish and evil people into being good. Just 1 day. Thereafter the best and strongest country on earth.
    (enough substance for comments and criticism – go for it…)

  • 3007

    Guess what….The head of the HR. Dept. is sitting tight.


    I dont understand why the SABC chair wasnt arrested

  • Frank Payne

    What is more frightening is that these unqualified crooks are in positions of power and authority. No wonder we are the laughing stock of thinking people.

  • BM-poWered Singh


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