Article: KZN children taught by fake teachers

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Durban – Hundreds of KwaZulu-Natal children were taught by teachers with fake qualifications, the provincial education department said on Monday.

“These individuals did not only defraud the department of millions of rands, they robbed children of the right to access quality education,” said Cassius Lubisi, KwaZulu-Natal education department superintendent general, in a statement.

“They gambled with the future of many children, the majority of whom hail from the most disadvantaged rural areas.”

Lubisi said initially 56 people had faced charges of misconduct. Three of them had since died.

“The department has suffered huge financial loss with an estimated R14m lost for the period March 2004 to August 2009 as a result of this scam.”

Department spokesperson Mbali Thusi could not say when the unqualified teachers, some of whom held critical posts, were dismissed.

“I don’t have the specific dates. I’m not sure if they were all dismissed at once.

“All I know is they are no longer employed under the education department,” said Thusi.

The dismissal followed a campaign during which the department did a headcount of all its employees in July.

This was part of an ongoing campaign to identify people who had submitted fraudulent qualifications.

A large number of the scam teachers were from Obonjeni and Vryheid.

“The department will recover all monies and over payments from the individuals concerned,” said Lubisi.

The department was still collecting and verifying the information submitted by its more than 100 000 employees after the headcount done in July and August.