Mpuma police crack fake matric certificate scam

Thursday, July 16, 2009
Thabisile Khoza

Emalahleni - A man and woman who have been charged with printing fake matric certificates are expected to appear in the Witbank Magistrate's Court in Emalahleni on Friday.

The 20-year-old woman and 36-year-old man were arrested at about 10am in Ogies on Wednesday after police were able to set a trap for them.

Captain Leonard Hlathi, spokesperson for acting Mpumalanga Police Commissioner Rex Machabi, said: "Our officers went to the suspects' offices on Tuesday and pretended to be looking for a person to provide them with matric certificates immediately."

The officers were asked to leave copies of their identity books and a list of information needed for their certificates.

"They were also told to leave R300 cash each and return the following day to collect their certificates," he explained.

When the undercover cops received the certificates on Wednesday, they arrested the woman, who in turn led them to the man.

Police searched the man's house and confiscated a laptop, colour printer, cell phones, desktop computer and a carry bag containing several possible fraudulent documents.

In a similar incident, three student nurses from Tonga Hospital briefly appeared in the Tonga Magistrate's Court on Wednesday in connection with using fake matric certificates to get their jobs.

Samuel Jabulani Nkomo, 39, Luzile Beatrice Mazibuko, 34, and Sibongile Ntombikayise Ngomane, 42, are three of 16 civil servants who have been arrested since March on charges of using fake matric certificates and other qualifications. The civil servants include six student nurses and ten teachers altogether.

Police launched in investigation in March following internal audits by the Departments of Education and Health and Social Development.

The three student nurses were initially employed as hospital cleaners, before applying as student nurses in August last year. They were not asked to plead to charges of fraud and were released on R1 500 bail each until they appear again on 21 August.