Durban Metro Police inspector and two legal practitioners were among the six University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) students from the 2021 cohort who achieved distinctions in the Postgraduate Diploma in Forensic Investigation and Criminal Justice during the May graduation season.
All three top achievers managed to juggle their demanding jobs with two years of study. UKZN said the programme was offered online with evening classes.
The students received their diplomas during UKZN’s ongoing graduations.
According to the university, Inspector Phindile Ntuli joined the force in 2010 with the goal of bringing about change and showcasing women’s capabilities in the field of law and order.
The mother of three teenagers said the diploma taught her the importance of paying attention to detail, working hard and collaborating to obtain the desired results.
“My goal is to become more involved in investigative inquiries, and with the academic experience I obtained from UKZN, I am confident that many doors will open for me. I am eager to put my passion for black women’s empowerment and recognition to use in a male-dominated sector,” said Ntuli.
UKZN said the postgraduate diploma programme is offered by the Centre for Extended Legal Studies in UKZN’s School of Law.
“[The] programme aims to provide working professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to specialise in the field of forensic investigative accounting - a specialised branch of forensic investigation which uses intelligence-gathering techniques, together with accounting, legal and communication skills, to investigate and provide evidence of crimes of a financial or commercial nature,” it said.
For 32-year-old UKZN LLB alumnus Mzwandile Khahula, who is the director of Poswa Incorporated which specialises in public law litigation, construction law, town planning disputes and forensic investigations, the newly-acquired qualification will give him and his practice a competitive edge.
“Business leaders, entrepreneurs and accounting officers should regard forensic investigation specialists as business partners who offer lifetime business solutions, because forensic investigations involves a process of identifying shortfalls in organisations’ procedures and processes and thereby assists them to prevent recurrences of misconduct,” said Khahula.
On the other hand, Dudula Maoela, who has 24 years’ experience as a legal practitioner in the public and private sectors, believes in continuous professional development in order to remain abreast of changes in the sector.
“It is of paramount interest to continuously equip myself with a sound understanding of the sector I practise in,” he said.
Maoela added that commissions are the new order of the day in South Africa and that he could not help but take note that forensic investigations is a booming industry.
His advice to students is to always move from a point of not knowing in order to know something.
“Approach every learning opportunity as your first because often it is what we think we know that stands in the way of what we ought to know,” said Maoela.