Fake teacher bust after KZN Eduction Department uncovers false diploma
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Durban - A FORMER KwaZulu-Natal school teacher who allegedly submitted a false National Diploma in Education was charged for fraud and released on R2 000 bail.
According to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI-Hawks), Sindiso Thusi, 36, appeared in the Durban Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Monday.
The case was postponed until February 26.
Thusi is a former teacher at Ntombiyodumo Primary School in the Umzinyathi District.
Hawks spokesperson Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo said the Durban Serious Commercial Crime unit arrested Thusi for allegedly submitting a false National Diploma in Education from North West University to the Department of Education in the Umzinyathi District.
Mhlongo said Thusi secured employment as a teacher from 2011 to 2012. The department allegedly suffered an actual loss R166 861.88.
Thirona Moodley, the provincial chief executive of the National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa), said the issue of false qualifications has plagued the department.
She said efforts had been made to weed out such people.
“It is however unfortunate that such persons are employed in the first place, as there should be proper vetting of all possible applicants before they are appointed into posts. To have unqualified persons teach is doing an injustice to the learners and undermining the profession,” she said.
Moodley said there was a large number of qualified unemployed teachers who would be an asset to the department.
“They should be employed, not people who have bogus qualifications. The results of employing unqualified teachers is wasteful expenditure for an already cash-strapped department. We implore the department to do thorough vetting before any appointment is made,” Moodley said.
South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) provincial secretary Nomarashiya Caluza said the arrest was embarrassing and something that must be dealt with. Caluza said the image of the profession gets tainted by such issues.
“Teaching is a specialised job, hence the need to have truly qualified people even though in the past people were allowed to teach while studying and they did that successfully. The arrest will be a lesson to other people with similar motives,” Caluza said.
Provincial Education spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi called on teachers to be honest and transparent. He said as the Thusi matter was before the court he could not comment further on it.
“Teachers themselves know that they must honest. The department does, on a regular basis, call for an audit of teachers. All employees present themselves and copies of their qualifications. When we discover illegal qualifications we report them to the law enforcement agencies,” Mahlambi said.