South Africa 17.2.2016 05:00 am

Academic bandits to be shamed

Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr. Bonginkosi Emmanuel

Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr. Bonginkosi Emmanuel "Blade" Nzimande

“This is a very serious matter in so far as it can also discredit our entire higher education system”.

People who lie about their academic qualifications are set to be named and shamed.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande told journalists in Cape Town yesterday that amendments would be made to the National Qualifications Framework Act.

He said this would be in a bid to make room for a register of those who had “misrepresented their qualifications”.

This register would also contain the details of institutions issuing unregistered qualifications.

“This is a very serious matter in so far as it can also discredit our entire higher education system,” said Nzimande.

The minister said he would engage with institutions in the criminal justice sector to ensure those faking their qualifications faced harsher sanctions.

“If you lie about your qualifications or produce a false certificate, it is fraud,” he said.

“The problem is that people take this so lightly they don’t report it. Sometimes, it gets reported, [but] it’s taken as a very minor or inconsequential offence.

“So yes, we want those who are aware of people with false qualifications, or lying, or institutions that are not registered, to report this matter, either to the department or to the police.”

Nzimande said he was worried about an increase in incidents of this offence.

In December 2014, former SABC chairperson Ellen Tshabalala was forced to resign from her post after failing to provide a parliamentary committee with evidence of her qualifications from the University of South Africa.

Earlier that year, ANC MP Pallo Jordan resigned from parliament after admitting he lied about having a PhD.

– ANA

 

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