New law to deal with fake degrees
Cape Town - Parliament has finally approved a bill dealing with fake qualifications and has sent it to President Cyril Ramaphosa to be signed into law.
The National Council of Provinces approved the National Qualifications Framework Bill. This was after the National Assembly had dealt with the bill since last year.
Parliament said in a statement it was time the government dealt with fake qualifications.
The bill proposes that those who are found to have fake qualifications should be shamed and their names published in a national register.
Those found guilty will face a prison term of five years or a fine.
Several high-profile people have in the past few years been named in the public domain after it emerged they did not have proper qualifications.
It emerged in the report of the Public Protector in 2014 that former SABC chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng did not have a matric qualification. This was after then public protector Thuli Madonsela found that Motsoeneng had falsified his qualifications.
Former SABC Board chairperson Zandile Ellen Tshabalala was found to have lied about having a BCom degree and a diploma from Unisa. A senior Unisa official had testified in Parliament, during an inquiry, that Tshabalala never obtained such qualifications from the institution. This forced Tshabalala to resign from the SABC board.
Former ambassador to Japan Mohau Pheko was also found to have lied that she had a PhD from a university in the US. Pheko admitted that she did not have such a qualification.
Former head of engineering at Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa Daniel Mtimkulu was also found to have lied about having a doctorate from a university in Germany.
Former cabinet minister and senior ANC figure Pallo Jordan was found to have lied about his qualifications. He admitted that he never obtained a degree from any US university as previously claimed and he quit his position in Parliament a few years ago.
Parliament said this week the bill would allow education authorities to deal with fake qualifications properly.
This would allow the government to have a central database for all people in the country with qualifications from accredited institutions.
However, those with fake degrees and other qualifications will be named, shamed and face the full might of the law.