New law to punish fake qualification fraud

This dangerous affliction is allegedly what cost the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at UniZulu Professor Gregory Kamwendo his life after identifying a fraudulent PhD scheme. Deputy CEO of the South Africa Qualifications Authority Julie Reddy, Jennifer Barkhuizen from Managed Integrity Evaluation, and Diane Parker from the Department of Higher Education and Training explain how bad the situation actually is.

JOHANNESBURG - Fake qualifications or the exposure of these falsifications can be fatal, but new legislation aims to prevent and punish fraud.

Professor Gregory Kamwendo was shot dead after identifying a fraudulent scheme to produce PhD graduates.

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“Professor Kamwendo spoke passionately about the efforts they were embarking on as the senate to cleanse the university (UniZulu) of the unfortunate consequences and perceptions it had had to address as a result of the scandals related to the criminal sale of degrees, which the university had worked hard to correct," Minister of Higher Education and Training Naledi  Pandor said at the time.

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The newly-passed National Qualifications Framework Bill aims establish and maintain separate registers of misrepresented of fraudulent qualifications.

Further, the bill would provide for a separate register for professional designations; the referral of qualifications or part-qualifications to SAQA for verification and evaluation, as well as, offences and penalties which have a bearing on fraudulent qualifications.