More Suspected Academic Fraudsters Nabbed

The number of people arrested for allegedly forging their Grade 12 certificates in a massive syndicate unearthed last year has increased to 29.

Wilhelmina Nanyeni was granted bail of N$5 000 last month when she appeared before Magistrate Justine Asino in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court. She faced a charge of forgery and uttering of a forged instrument. Her legal rights were explained to her and she indicated she would hire a private lawyer.

The matter was remanded to March 23 for further investigations and legal representation.

The Namibian Police arrested the 29 jobseekers last year on suspicion they submitted fake qualifications from bogus colleges in Zimbabwe in their desperate quest to secure jobs. Sources informed New Era last year the police are looking for about 200 other suspects with fake Grade 12 certificates – among them bogus doctors.

Some of the suspects submitted the fake qualifications to several institutions of higher learning for entrance, while nine used the ‘qualifications’ to secure jobs in the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) and Windhoek City Police.

Sources said the suspects informed the Namibian Qualifications Authority (NQA) they obtained their qualifications from colleges in Zimbabwe, which upon inquiry turned out to be untrue.

They were arrested in October, November and December last year. Twenty-eight have been granted bail except one, Tyson Pickard, who was denied bail early November.

After the incident, the NQA warned of fake institutions. Speaking in an interview regarding bogus educational institutions and academic fraud, NQA Chief Executive Officer, Franz Gertze, cautioned parents to be wary of such bogus institutions as they desperately try to find their children further studies after completing their grade 10 and 12 exams.

“My eyes are always filled with tears when I realise that someone was studying with money of which three of the goats in the kraal were sold and people went hungry and then they come back to NQA and say I was robbed,” Gertze said.

“I went to an institution that NQA does not know, that hurts literally and it happens mainly to the poorest of the poor who send their children to these unfortunately not always honest institutions. I call them criminal institutions. The rich send their children to well-renowned institutions.”

He urged parents and guardians to approach the NQA for aice before they enrol their children in bogus institutions.

“My prayer is that parents should call the NQA. We will tell them in writing free of charge that you can send your child to this or that institution of your choice as long as it is quality assured,” said Gertze last year after the alleged fraudsters were arrested.

Source : New Era