MASERU — Trying to get admission into the National University of Lesotho (NUL) through falsified documents has earned Rant’so Makhakhe a fine of M2 000 or two years imprisonment, which was conditionally suspended for one year.
Magistrate ‘Makopano Taole convicted Makhakhe of fraud, after the Maseru Magistrates’ Court established the accused — who is a member of the Lesotho Mounted Police Service — had falsely claimed he possessed a Cambridge Overseas School Certificate qualification, which he had tried to use to gain entry into the university in 2002.
Prosecutor Gcinimuzi Tshabalala in his outline told the court the accused attended Sefika High School in Maseru and sat for examinations in 1997. He obtaining a General Certificate of Education qualification, which did not qualify him for university. Makhakhe applied for admission into the Bachelor of Commerce degree programme in March 2002, fully aware he did not possess the necessary qualifications.
The prosecution indicated the accused claimed he had passed his COSC with a Second Class, and had presented a fake certificate to the NUL registrar.
“It came to the realisation of the authorities that there were counterfeit certificates from people who had applied and the accused was number 7 on the list of those suspects. The list was then handed over to the police for investigations,” Tshabalala said.
The police, in the course of their investigations, went to Sefika High School where it was established the accused’s 1997 COSC examinations candidate number was LS 600.
Further investigations with the Examinations Council established LS 597 — the centre number under which the accused claimed to have sat the examinations — was for Tšakholo High School, not Sefika High School.
The investigations further established the certificate, which the accused had tendered at NUL did not have a “watermark”, and that the LS 579 results belonged to another candidate, Josephine Mpakanyane, while the accused had sat for examination in 1997 not 1993.
In mitigation, the accused’s lawyer asked the court to be lenient saying his client had shown remorse by pleading guilty. He said the accused has a wife, a child and three other dependants.