Durban — Desperate to become members, the School Governing Body (SGB) of Asiphephe Primary school near Pinetown is under investigation over allegations that they created fraudulent birth certificates to get in.
Parents blew the whistle after teachers began questioning the sudden change in surnames of some pupils. Parents were asked to make affidavits stating that these are indeed their children.
One parent said there were rumours of a hired hitman waiting to eliminate anyone who spoke out. A source close to the school said the new SGB pushed for the former principal to be out of the office despite him doing nothing wrong. The source said they wanted to identify which parents wanted the principal out.
The source said internal investigations found that certain SGB members did not have children attending the school yet they (the SGB) produced birth certificates stating that they did. When the certificates were cross-checked with the parents’ original copies, the SGB certificates were deemed fake.
“Investigations revealed that some of them were principals in other schools and occupy positions in the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union,” said the source.
A task team was formed to try to solve the problems at the school after a protest on September 5.
A parent belonging to the team said endless meetings bore no solutions.
“The issue of fraud is a heartbreaking one because a lot of parents are affected. We found many discrepancies,” she said.
The Daily News has seen copies of the fake and original birth certificates.
Another parent said she is now fearing for her life. One of the SGB members visited her home and offered financial help because she was an unemployed single parent.
“He offered to help me with things that my child needs. He had bought socks and school shoes. He asked for the birth certificate of my child because he is helping me. He went to sit in his car and took a picture of it. When I moved to a new place he rocked up and gave me R1 000 to buy anything that I needed. I was shocked about this because I had never told him that I had moved to a new area,” she said.
When teachers asked her about her child’s sudden surname change in August, she cried, thinking that he was a good Samaritan.
“I have no one but my kids. My siblings and I fight because of the lifestyle they are living. I had to move out. I had to get an affidavit to state that this is my child,” she said.
Another parent said this matter has made things sour in her engagement because her fiancé does not trust her anymore. She is scared to open a case at the police station.
“I told my fiancé that our child had a different surname at school. He told me that I am making him bond and support kids that are not his. This is also causing a strain on our relationship,” she said.
The SGB members who are said to have resigned are Masuku Primary School principal Bhongo Mtshizana and Sadtu Boy Mkhize branch secretary Dr Siphesihle Zuma.
When approached by the Daily News, Mtshizana claimed he was a legitimate parent but the circuit managers advised him to resign. He denied making fake certificates.
Zuma declined to comment, stating he was not aware of the allegations.
KZN Education spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said the department takes these allegations seriously.
“We are going to investigate this matter. If this is found to be true, we will not hesitate to institute disciplinary action.”