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Durban - A mother's heart was broken when thieves stole her daughter’s graduation certificate from her car before she had a chance to look at it.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said she was celebrating with her daughter on Florida Road, Durban, shortly after the graduation ceremony earlier this month when their car was broken into and the culprits fled with the graduation certificate, a handbag and wallet, her daughter’s laptop, student card, ID cards and jewellery worth R80 000.

“It was so upsetting because I hadn’t seen her certificate. That was supposed to be a happy moment, but my daughter just sat on the pavement and cried,” she said.

She said they had bought a hard drive that week to save all her daughter’s work on, but had not got round to backing up her data.

The woman said the thieves had broken her car window and had also broken into at least five other cars in the area.

Fortunately, graduation certificates can be replaced.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson Normah Zondo said it offered replacement certificates if the originals were lost.

“Requests for replacement certificates are processed by the Students Records Office located on the Westville campus,” Zondo said.

She said the student would have to complete an application form for the replacement and submit an affidavit completed in the presence of the Commissioner of Oaths.

Zondo said the application form, along with a certified copy of the student’s ID document and proof of payment of R270 for the replacement, must be submitted to the UKZN Central Student Records division.

The form can be downloaded from

Students from Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) can also obtain copies of lost or stolen graduation certificates.

Spokesperson Bheki Hlophe said students can contact the Examination Department for a form to fill out. They can also go to the MUT website ( and download the form, print it, fill in the required information and mail it to the department.

“They must also provide an affidavit, citing the reasons they no longer have the document. They can also call the department if they need further help,” Hlophe said.

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