'Fake matric' cop to know fate soon

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IOL Vincent Mdunge0 Independent Newspapers Former police spokesman Vincent Mdunge. Picture: Siyanda Mayeza

Durban - KwaZulu-Natal's former police spokesman Vincent Mdunge, who is accused of presenting a fake matric certificate when he joined the police, will know his fate in October.

When Mdunge returns to court on October 1, Magistrate Thandeka Fikeni will hand down her judgment.

Mdunge is accused of fraudulently presenting a fake matric certificate when he joined the police in 1987. He resigned last year, after the allegation surfaced in September, and was arrested in October.

He faces three charges of fraud and one of uttering.

Mdunge, who achieved the rank of colonel, is also accused of using the certificate to enrol at the University of South Africa for a national diploma in police administration course, which he subsequently passed.

Prosecutor Barend Groen argued during the trial that Mdunge in fact failed matric in 1985 and had written supplementary exams in 1986, which he also failed.

He alleged the matric certificate that Mdunge used was a fake and had been tampered with and that the examination number on the certificate was in fact Mdunge's Standard 8 examination number.

This was proven, he argued, by the fact that the number on the certificate started with the digits 83. Had the certificate been valid it would have had an examination number that started with the digits 85.

Mdunge's lawyer, advocate Saleem Khan argued that: “Each and every one of the State's witnesses presented with material contradictions.”

He said the photocopy of the Mdunge's certificate that had been presented to court was no basis for proving that it had been tampered with. He said the State needed to present the original tampered document.

Referring to the examination number, he said it was used for Standard 8 and that it had nothing to do with the year a student wrote an exam.

He said that Mdunge had proven that the education department did make mistakes and should not be held liable for them.

“Why must the accused hang for mistakes of the education department?” he asked.

He said that Unisa's decision to implement disciplinary steps against Mdunge was premature since there had been no ruling on Mdunge's innocence or guilt.

Earlier on Monday, the court heard from retired school principal Charlton Sibhaca who said that it happened a number of times in his professional career that pupils were handed the wrong marks.

He also told the court that some pupils would receive results with examination numbers that did not match the examination number they had received before writing the exam.

Mdunge's former teacher told the court in May that he personally handed Mdunge a matric certificate.

Vusimuzi Donald Duke Khumalo told the court he was Mdunge's English teacher in 1984 and 1985, when Mdunge matriculated from Ukusa High School in Hammarsdale.

Sapa


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