Police to blitz bogus colleges in KZN

2010-06-23 00:00

THERE are close to 50 unregistered private Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges around Pietermaritzburg and Durban, and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa is promising them harsh punishment

A crackdown by Mthethwa’s ministry on some of these bogus colleges nationwide has led to seven arrests and the closure of 14 fake colleges.

A police investigative team is scrutinising all illegal colleges across the country.

The swoops and the naming of the illegal colleges started a month ago, leading to the arrests of four Ugandans, a Nigerian and two South Africans.

According to a statement released by the ministry yesterday, investigations have established that Pietermaritzburg and Durban have the largest number of the illegal colleges at 48.

Some of these colleges are allegedly offering training courses in policing, but only government colleges are accredited to offer such training.

Mthethwa said the campaign has been keenly supported by members of the public, who have come forward with information after the ministry’s closure of some colleges last month and reporting them to the media.

“We thank the public for their response as their leads and tip-offs have uncovered more bogus colleges.

Beyond just arresting these scoundrels who rob our children of their future, we are also embarking on a campaign to name and shame them publicly so that we also warn all potential students not to fall into such misfortunes.”

Mthethwa said the authorities had warned they will be intensifying their operations, but instead of refraining from their illegal practices, the fake college directors ignored them and continued.

Ministerial spokesperson Zweli Mnisi said no raids have been conducted in the Pietermaritzburg area yet and he could not name the colleges because of the sensitivity of the case.

However, he added, raids have been conducted in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Boksburg and in Venda. Police there have confiscated fake certificates, some of which closely resemble those of the South African Qualifications Authority, Umalusi and other certification bodies.

Said a ministerial spokesperson for Higher Education and Training, Ranjeni Munusamy, “We caution parents and students to check the status of colleges and the courses being offered before signing up, because if the courses are not registered with the department, they run the risk of diminishing their chances of gaining employment.”

Registration can be verified at the department’s website, www.education.gov.za, or by calling 012 312 5878. Inquiries can be faxed to 012 323 8817.

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