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Cops to probe 'fraudulent claims' about RAF acting CEO

May 11 2018 18:10
Khulekani Magubane and Adriaan Basson

Cape Town – The Road Accident Fund (RAF) and the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) suspect fraud may be behind allegations that acting CEO Lindelwa Jabavu’s academic qualifications were falsified.

Both the RAF and SAQA have opened criminal cases to get to the bottom of the matter.

Fin24 previously reported on these documents that purportedly show correspondence between Jabavu and the SAQA about her matric certificate.

In the “email” provided by a source in leaked documents, a "SAQA official' apparently responded to what seemed like Jabavu’s gmail address, stating “your records are not on the National Learners’ Records Database”. The “email” was dated March 7, 2018.

The RAF denies that the gmail account cited in the leaked documents belongs to Jabavu and believes someone fraudulently created the documents leaked to the media.

SAQA CEO Joe Samuels told Fin24 that they had also subsequently established that someone opened a gmail account in Jabavu’s name to request her information.

He explained that SAQA offers two main services – a verification service for employers and a free information service where individuals can simply check if their qualifications are already on the database.

In Jabavu's case, the fraudster made use of the information service.

“This information was misinterpreted as Jabavu not having any qualifications,” said Samuels.

“This does not indicate whether she does or does not have the qualifications, it simply indicates she’s not on our database.”

The RAF has not asked SAQA as yet to verify her qualifications, he said.

SAQA says it is completely false to suggest that the authority had indicated to the RAF that Jabavu does not have a matric certificate. SAQA did not, however, provide Fin24 with a copy of Jabavu’s matric certificate, saying it would only do so once she has given her consent for this.

In mid-April a source linked to the RAF sent Fin24 correspondence purportedly from SAQA. This was after Democratic Alliance MP Manny de Freitas asked RAF chair Ntuthuko Bhengu during a meeting of Parliament’s portfolio committee on transport about the validity of Jabavu’s qualifications.

Jabavu’s curriculum vitae states she matriculated from Holomisa High School with an exemption pass in 1979.

The source provided Fin24 with documents, including the purported email correspondence with SAQA, claiming the information given to Parliament was false.

In response to questions at the time, the RAF provided Fin24 with a copy of a personal credential verification certificate issued by background screening company MIE. That confirmed Jabavu had indeed obtained her matric certificate and a three-year advanced banking diploma from the Institute of Financial Management in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in 1989.

The authority said when a request is made by an employer to verify the qualifications claimed by an employee, the employer must obtain consent from the employee before submitting the request to SAQA.

“Where the information of an individual is not available on the National Learners' Records Database, SAQA confirms with the institutions where the qualifications were obtained.

"This is the case with Grade 12 qualifications and teacher qualifications that were obtained prior to 1992, which are currently being digitised,” SAQA said.

The authority said that should the RAF request SAQA to verify the qualifications of its acting CEO, SAQA would be more than willing to do so with her consent.

RAF spokesperson Phumelela Dhlomo said: “A thorough and independent audit of the executives', general managers' and senior managers’ qualifications was conducted in 2015 and nothing untoward was uncovered.”

* Fin24 has disabled the original report on this matter while the police investigate whether the documents, on which our report was based, were falsified. Jabavu has declined to be interviewed on this matter. – Editor

    Follow Fin24 on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. 24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

    raf  |  lindelwa jabavu  |  sa economy
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