Umalusi, the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training has advised public and private employers to consider vetting prospective employees’ matric certificates following the arrests of 11 suspects for fraudulent activities related to exam certificates.
The cautionary advice was given by Dr Mafu Rakometsi, CEO of Umalusi, in announcing their readiness to deliver the 2023 matriculation results later this week, during a media briefing yesterday.
Rakometsi announced that 11 suspects, had been apprehended by the police for their involvement in various fraudulent activities related to matric certificates.
He explained that two suspects were arrested in Limpopo during October, while during November, one suspect in Pretoria as well as three more in Limpopo were arrested.
In addition, Rakometsi said the Hawks had in December also arrested a Department of Higher Education and Training employee for fraudulently issuing a Diploma certificate for cash.
According to CEO, all of the suspects had been charged and would appear in court during January, while police investigations remained ongoing.
He emphasised that Umalusi remains committed to collaborating closely with law enforcement to ensure that individuals involved in fraudulent activities face the full extent of legal consequences.
Of utmost importance is the acknowledgement that counterfeit certificates are being disseminated by fraudsters and scammers who are not affiliated with Umalusi as employees.
“Our mandate as Umalusi is to issue authentic certificates to qualifying candidates, it has no business with fake certificates.”
Despite these sporadic incidents, Umalusi assured the public that its certificates had robust safe guards to protect their authenticity and credibility.
However, due to fraudsters being undeterred despite the rigorous safety measures implemented to protect their certificates, Rakometsi urged employers to visit any of their online verification agencies when selecting future employees.
Professor Yunus Ballim said the public could also contact Umalusi for clarity on the standardisation principle aimed at safeguarding integrity.
Meanwhile, the ministerial announcement on the exam results is expected to be made by Department of Basic Education (DBE) Minister Angie Motshekga on Thursday, with the general result release set for Friday.
More than 890 000 full-time and part-time candidates sat for the matric exams administered by the DBE at the back end of 2023.
Even though Umalusi announced that on a positive note that there had been no leaks in last year’s examinations, Rakometsi highlighted that the body was “seriously concerned about the group copying cases” involving 945 National Senior Certificates (NSC) candidates that were detected by the Department of Education.
Although he said the cases were not resolved as a result of the numbers still being verified, he noted that of a total, 763 cases were detected in KwaZulu-Natal and 164 cases detected in Mpumalanga.
“After studying all the evidence presented including the examinations administered accordingly, with the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) policy for the conduct of administration and management of examination with no irregularities which compromised the ability, Umalusi pronounces the approval of the of the examinations in 2023,” said Ballim. | Additional reporting by Mbali Khanyile