Umalusi defends matric certificate security

In the wake of the circulation of forged matric certificates, Umalusi—the council that sets and monitors standards for general and further education and training in South Africa—on Wednesday reiterated that it had quality assurance processes and security features in place.

“Forged fake matric certificates are a serious concern. It affects not only the credibility of Umalusi’s work, but is a worry for civil society too,” Umalusi chief executive Mafu Rakometsi said.

“Parents, honest learners who have put in the 12 years of hard work to obtain genuine certification, the ministry of basic education, universities and employers all feel the impact of such criminal activity.”

Rakometsi’s comments come after police arrested two men for selling fake matric certificates at a shop in Turffontein, south of Johannesburg in November.

At the time police said they suspected more people were involved.

Rakometsi said while he applauded the police’s efforts, Umalusi had a number of processes in place to confirm and verify the authenticity of its certificates as well as the information contained in them.

He said these would only be issued once the council approved the release of results and only after it had found that the examinations were conducted in a credible manner and that the relevant examination policies and regulations had been complied with.

Once approved, each candidate would receive a statement of results issued by a relevant assessment body responsible for internal assessment and the examinations.

Only then would Umalusi issue a certificate signed by its chief executive.

The most up-to-date candidate record of certificates issued was also kept on a secure database which allowed for universities or employers to verify a candidate’s information.

To confirm authenticity there were also security features fitted into the certificate itself.

“The most important feature is that the certificates are printed on watermark paper, in much the same way as bank notes are.”

Each certificate was also printed with a tracking number, said Rakometsi.—Sapa

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