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Limkokwing kept cops in the dark about fake certificates

The
police, acting on a tip-off, launched investigations against the two officials
and discovered that they had worked in cahoots with Ecol officials to issue
certificates to students who were later admitted at Limkokwing.
Limkokwing
University has since called on all students who graduated in 2010 and 2011 to
send their transcripts back to the Examinations Council for verification.
It
is suspected that the students under investigation did not have the Cambridge
Overseas School Certificate (COSC), the Ordinary Level qualification that
allows them admission into a tertiary institution in Lesotho.
Form
D and E, the last two years of high school prepare students for the Cambridge
Overseas School Certificate Examinations at the Ordinary Level.
This
week this paper discovered that the university started investigating the
scandal as far back as 2010 but did not officially notify the police as
required by the law.
Minutes
seen by this paper show that the university management interviewed a number of
its students and staff and confirmed suspicions that a number of students had
gained admission at the institution using fake O-Level certificates.
One
of the students interviewed by the university management (name withheld) said
she was assisted by an official at the university to get the fake certificate.
The
student told the LUCT management that the official helped her with the Ecol
Joined Transcript and
gave it to her in Teya-teyaneng, Ha-Mokhehle.
The
official is said to be related to the student’s mother.
The
intention of giving her the transcripts was “for me to apply to LUCT”.
She
applied and was admitted at the LUCT in August last year.
The
official “asked for cash from Mom (amount not known) and Mom must have paid him
some cash,” reads part of the minutes.
This
official admitted that he worked in cahoots with someone at Ecol to give the
student a fake certificate.
Another
senior official at the university admitted that she helped at least four
students to gain admission knowing well that they possessed fake certificates.
The
official, who was working in the university’s marketing department, said three
students paid M500 each to gain entry into the varsity.

She
also named seven officials who were helping unqualified students gain admission
at the university.

One
of the officials mentioned told the management that he was not aware of the
alleged fraud.
“Only
qualified students get the forms,” he told the management.
“I
don’t know of anyone who got money for this. It worried me that I was asked
about it,” he said.
He
however admitted that unqualified people used to apply but their application
forms were “kept aside”.
He
said “discrepancies” in Ecol papers were discovered in August 2011.
In
one of the interviews, on February 22 at 11:30am an official had this to say:
“Shortly after my employment, about five months, I heard that family can be
assisted. In 2011, I was approached by people requesting help for their
children. I accepted teboho (a reward) from parents. I also accepted
cash from them and I gave other officers what was due to them.”
This
official says he helped six students who are now studying for a programme in
business and globalisation.

He
implicates some marketing and registry staff in the scam.

He
says he was in the syndicate with four other officials and one from Ecol who
helped the students get correct fake results for admission at the university.

The
officer begged for forgiveness from the management.
“He
has been honest and is willing to help management to correct the mistakes,”
reads a comment in the minutes.
On
February 23, at 11:20 a.m. another official was interviewed but denied
involvement in the scam.
“I
am not part of the deal. I cannot even say who did what with whom in this deal
as I am not involved,” he said.
He
however said he had known of the fraud since August last year.
The
management concluded that this official, who was mentioned by many interviewed
officials, had not been truthful.
“He
has had time to fabricate the version he presented,” reads the comment.
Another
official said he knew of the scam since 2010.
The
university, instead of reporting the crime to the police, only warned the
perpetrators to stop the unlawful act.

“We
have called you to alert and warn you to stop this behaviour. Stop putting the
university’s reputation into disrepute,” reads the April 17, 2012 meeting’s
minutes after one official was approached.
“The
LUCT is aware and has all evidence. We advise you to cease and refrain from
this act.”
Another
official was on the same day only advised to stop.

“You
can accept this as khalemelo (warning).”
The
officers were told to challenge the warnings if they were not happy and they
would be given “a fair hearing”.
Efforts
to contact officials at Limkokwing were unsuccessful at the time of going to
print.

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