Slaps on the wrist for NYDA officials guilty of bogus qualifications

2015-03-18 10:14

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Although at least five employees of the embattled National Youth Development Agency were found guilty of not possessing the qualifications they claimed to have, all were given a slap on the wrist and asked to complete their claimed qualifications before the end of the year.

This was revealed in oral responses to questions posed by the Democratic Alliance to Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe in Parliament yesterday. It was also revealed that one employee – a corporate services administrator – did not even have a matric certificate and for about five years the NYDA knew about this.

Close to 20 employees of the agency were investigated as to whether they have the qualifications they claimed to have. The positions included those of a researcher, a personal assistant and an administrator in corporate services.

At the hearings held last year the NYDA was represented by Bowman Gilfillan Attorneys and DLA Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr was the independent presiding officer for the hearings. DLA Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr made recommendations regarding who was guilty and what sanctions should be instituted against them.

The law firm found that there should also be steps taken against the NYDA for not taking any action for all these years.

“Action should have been taken by the employer soon thereafter. I find this a strong mitigating factor in favour of the employee.”

It was recommended that the employee receives a final warning and completes her matric or a matric equivalency course within 12 months.

One of the personal assistants who also fabricated qualifications was found guilty but received a lenient sanction, which included receiving a final written warning and that she completes the qualification she claimed she had.

A strategic programmes manager was found not guilty even though he did not possess a certificate. DLA Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr said that the correspondence from the university dated August 18 2014 confirmed that the manager had forfeited his diploma, however he did not forfeited his points.

“It is common cause that the employee did not graduate from the university with the diploma. Although he met the requirements for the diploma he was aware that the diploma was not actually conferred on him,” said the law firm.

The harshest sanction was for an asset management administrator who allegedly lied throughout the hearings, saying that she had a higher certificate in accountancy.

“The employee persisted throughout the hearing with the explanation that she had the said qualification. The employee’s representative stated that the employee no longer had the certificate. However, on August 7 2014, the employee stated that she did not receive a certificate because she still owed the institution fees,” said the law firm.

But after verification of the new claims, it was found that she owed no fees and had never received her qualification because she had not completed a module.

It was recommended that she be suspended for two weeks without pay, and further that she completes her qualification by the end of the year.

The NYDA was not available for comment.

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