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Durban - An allegation that top policeman, Colonel Vincent Mdunge, had faked his matric certificate has sent shock waves through Kwazulu-Natal.
Mdunge, a veteran policeman, was the face of the SAPS in KZN, as its senior provincial spokesman. He was based at the SAPS provincial head office in Durban and tendered his resignation after being informed that disciplinary action would be instituted against him.
Mdunge’s matric certificate discovery was made during an audit of staff qualifications, police spokesman, Colonel Jay Naicker, said on Wednesday.
He said provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni, had immediately appointed a senior officer to investigate the allegation.
“Following a thorough investigation the provincial commissioner took a decision to institute disciplinary charges against the member and he (Mdunge) has since placed a notice… to resign from the SAPS and his resignation was accepted.”
Naicker said the SAPS would not comment further because a criminal investigation might follow.
Ngobeni said had been “shaken” when the allegation first surfaced.
“While I worked very closely with the member (Mdunge) and there was an element of trust and respect, I was filled with a deep sense of disbelief and disappointment when I learnt of the allegation,” she said.
She said she respected his decision to resign but was duty-bound to take action against any individual under her command who might be guilty of misconduct. “Therefore I ordered that the matter be investigated immediately and due process should follow.”
Inkatha Freedom Party spokesman Velaphi Ndlovu urged national police commissioner Riah Phiyega to ensure that Mdunge was prosecuted. He called on her to prosecute those above Mdunge who were aware of his invalid matric certificate.
“This is shocking because Colonel Vincent Mdunge spoke about crime on a daily basis, while hiding his lack of a matric certificate. As a police officer he was supposed to lead by example, now he must face the consequences,” said Ndlovu.
Ironically, it was Mdunge who first discovered, in July last year, that criminal Musa “Muzi” Khumalo had duped people into believing he was a Hawks brigadier.
Mdunge saw a picture of him that was being circulated as a wanted person and recognised him as the “brigadier” who had berated him for a comment he made to a newspaper.
In December last year, Khumalo, after being on the run twice in the past years, was nabbed and found hanged by a blanket in a Pretoria police cell hours after his arrest.
Naicker said the SAPS placed high value on integrity as the goal was to ensure that police fight crime “with clean hands”.
“We have just completed an audit on members who are in the employ of the SAPS but have criminal records. Furthermore, an instruction has been issued to make it compulsory for members to regularly declare when they are facing criminal investigation,” he said.
Naicker said the SAPS was busy with the verification of members’ academic qualifications. “Members whose academic records differ from what they have declared to the SAPS will be dealt with in accordance with our disciplinary code and may be investigated criminally, depending on the circumstances,” he warned.
Repeated attempts to contact Mdunge by telephone and SMS were unsuccessful.
Daily News and Sapa