MyNews24 is a user-generated section of The stories here come from users.

Ntokozo Khumalo
Comments: 5
Article views: 1284
Latest Badges:

View all Ntokozo Khumalo's badges.

South Africa: The land of the fake qualifications

11 February 2013, 15:56

“So what do you want? A diploma, degree what?” The syndicate ask, “Also if you are not too smart and will mess up in your interview then maybe don’t get too excited about wanting a higher qualification then what is fitting to you”

A friend was relaying a story about a friend, of a friend whose distant cousin is in the business of fraudulently creating qualifications. We all knew the story was probably a little closer to home, but our interest on how it all works stopped us from saying “Come on, be real with us, you’re the one who is in the business right”

The business of fake qualifications has been growing in South Africa since 2011. Demand has been on a steady rise as unemployment continues to rise, meaning supply will be endless.  Business is booming so fast that some syndicates even lure in possible clients through emails that read “Contact us NOW to receive your diploma within days, and start improving your life!” How having a fake qualification improves your life is beyond me.

In Kwazulu-Natal, the Department of Education has uncovered that 173 teachers have fake qualification trough an investigation that dates back to 2005. I am surprised the uncovered numbers are so low and a little disgusted it took almost 10 years to uncover this. The syndicates that do this are not overly qualified geeks as American television would have us believe, but they are underpaid or unemployed individuals also trying to put a plate on the table at the end of the night. So why is it so difficult to find and prosecute them and why is it near impossible for businesses to identify a fake qualification?

According to the UK Naric (  there are a number of ways to identify a fake qualification.

Lack of official stamps/ official seals. Degree certificates always come with official seals or stamps. These may be embossed, stamped or raised seals.

Paper quality. Look out for security features and the quality of the paper.

A variety of fonts used. The majority of degree certificates do not use more than three or four font styles.

Alignment. Degree certificates are generally aligned down the centre of the page.  ‘Cut and paste’ techniques on documents often make mistakes in the alignment.

Handwriting If there is hand-writing on a certificate there should generally be no more than one style of handwriting.  Also, there should be no alternations or corrections on the document.

Scanned signatures. Scanned signatures have often been taken from websites or scanned from other documents.  The signatures will be pixelated. On genuine documents this will not be the case.

Informal or inaccurate language. The language used on degree transcripts is often very formal.  Read the text carefully and ensure that it makes sense and that the correct grammar has been used.

Awarding bodies. Can the institution in question award that given qualification?  Is the institution accredited?

South Africa needs to get serious about fighting this problem, children are receiving inadequate education, patients are dying at the hands of unqualified doctors and the country is paying for this.

It is not helping elevate the country’s unemployment numbers, but it does push through people who are not yet employable into our workforce and pushing those that are employable out.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Andy Young
At stake is our freedom to choose

I am following the hearing against Tim Noakes with great interest and I suppose Twitter is not the best place to try and pass on information to others.  Read more...

0 comments 10 views
Submitted by
Obakeng Matshoge
Motions of life


0 comments 7 views
Submitted by
Sifiso Ganandana
The obsolesce of apartheid.

With previous and current societal events in our country I'd assume that this topic might sound very sensitive and hostile, but I shall believe that we need to move forward as a nation. Read more...

0 comments 146 views
Submitted by
No.You're a handbag
Not All Muslims Are Terrorists

In the wake of several attacks around the world claimed by ISIS, Boko Haram and a variety of Al Qaeda affiliates, there's been a backlash against Muslims, and it's not fair.  Read more...

0 comments 1356 views
Submitted by
Bobby Shabangu
The Plight of Poverty in Zimbabwe

I'm looking at this photo that's trending on social media, of two Zimbabwean women who work at a butchery, and have been caught with stolen meat hidden on their bodies... Read more...

0 comments 530 views
Submitted by
Trudy Mhluli
Forgetting your roots Commissione...

Members of the Department of Correctional Services have for years been burdened with the fact that it’s National Commissioner that was serving the department lacked experienced and understanding of the circumstances under which its members are supposed to be performing at optimum levels with loyalty and dedication being appointed from outside of its own ranks. Read more...

0 comments 121 views


E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

Interactive Advertising Bureau
© 2015 All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.