Blade wants qualification fraud register
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Cape Town - Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande has asked for the urgent establishment of a national fraud register, which will list individuals who have committed qualifications fraud.
Several cases involving alleged fake qualifications have made the headlines in recent months, including that of SABC chairwoman Zandile Tshabalala, who was found to have lied about her degree and diploma under oath by a parliamentary inquiry.
In a statement last week, Nzimande said that in order to uphold the integrity and credibility of qualifications and qualifications assurance, he had asked the South African Qualifications Authority to establish a national fraud register.
Ministerial spokesman Khaye Nkwanyana said those with fake qualifications would be named and shamed.
Nzimande has also asked the qualifications authority to advise him on the need for strengthening legislation.
“A clean and credible public administration is a cornerstone of an effective and credible governance system directed and implemented by honest and credible public service employees and… public statutory bodies of board members and employees who are above reproach. That is why the recent occurrence of misrepresentation of qualifications and fake qualifications has to be dealt with urgently with zero tolerance for fraudulent qualifications.”
The qualifications authority has conducted qualification verifications for all national (government) departments, 66 percent of provincial departments, six public entities and 31 municipalities. Statistics include:
* For six months in the 2009/2010 reporting period, 666 people (with 973 records) were verified. There were 17 confirmed fraud cases (a record denotes one qualification for one person and some individuals have more than one qualification).
* In the 2010/11 reporting period, of the 9 405 people with 14 238 records verified, 258 records for 247 people were fraudulent.
* In the 2011/12 period, 9 127 people with 14 422 records were verified and 86 records for 82 people were fraudulent.
* In the 2012/13 period, 12 649 people with 20 062 records were verified and 119 records for 114 people were fraudulent.
* In the 2013/14 period, 18 634 people with 28 844 records were verified and 128 records for 126 people were fraudulent.
* For the first seven months of the 2014/15 reporting period, 13 182 people were verified and 92 records for 91 people were fraudulent.