“The state has proved it is not a valid certificate,” Magistrate Thandeka Fikeni said.
Prosecutor Barend Groen had argued during the trial that Mdunge failed matric in 1985 and wrote supplementary exams in 1986, which he also failed.
He argued the matric certificate that Mdunge used was a fake, had been tampered with and that the examination number on the certificate was in fact Mdunge’s Standard 8 examination number.
Mdunge was acquitted of one count of fraud by Fikeni who said it had not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Mdunge had misrepresented himself when he joined the police force in 1987 as a special constable.
Special constables who were hired at the height of the violence in KwaZulu-Natal in the late 1980s and early 1990s only required a Standard Eight (Grade 10 today) pass.
Fikeni acquitted Mdunge of uttering (circulating a forgery) because she felt it was a duplication of the forgery charge.
He was also found guilty of fraud because he received a salary that he was not entitled to.
The highest rank a police officer is allowed to achieve in the police force without a matric certificate is that of warrant officer. Mdunge had reached the rank of colonel.
The State had argued Mdunge had defrauded the police out of R3.5 million on the basis of his fake matric certificate.
Fikeni agreed that the police force had been defrauded, but said that because she found Mdunge had been allowed to JOIN the police, the amount should actually be less.
Mdunge was also found guilty of fraud over a fake certificate submitted to the University of South Africa to obtain admission to a National Diploma in Police Administration course.
Mdunge sat hunched in the dock as his advocate Saleem Khan told the court that his client would be seeking leave to appeal.
The case was postponed to December 17.