South Africa, Johannesburg – 2 Mpumalanga, Sibongile Rose Khuzwayo, 50, and Nonjabulo Bahle Mabuza, 47, were slapped with 10 years imprisonment each by the Volkrust Regional Court on Tuesday for fraud.
Their sentences were suspended for five years on condition they were not found guilty of fraud during the period of suspension.
The two, however, accumulated R600 000 pensions each from their many years as teachers and the Hawks want the money confiscated.
Mpumalanga Hawks spokesperson Captain Dineo Sekgotodo said they arrested the pair in February 2017 after a probe revealed they were employed by the Department of Education as teachers in July 2006 using fraudulent qualifications.
At the time of the arrests, Sekgotodi said Khuzwayo was a teacher at Hambani Primary School while Nonjabulo Bahle Mabuza was teaching at Seme Secondary School.
“In 2015, nine years into their unwarranted employment, it came to light that there were teachers in and around the Gert Sibande District that got employed using fraudulent tertiary qualifications.
“In an effort to address the concern, the department issued out a circular calling upon all educators to submit their qualifications for authentication.
“It was during this process that the pair failed to comply, and instead, opted to resign. Their initial applications were scrutinised and the qualifications were deemed to be suspicious.
“The Hawks were tasked to conduct further investigations which ultimately proved that the pair’s credentials were indeed fake.
“Investigation revealed that Khuzwayo submitted a fraudulent matric certificate with a serial number belonging to a deceased person. Mabuza submitted a fraudulent Bachelor of Education Degree, purportedly issued by the University of Pretoria,” Sekgotodi said.
They were arrested and prosecuted in a trial that ended on Tuesday with their sentencing.