The KwaZulu-Natal department of education has uncovered 173 teachers with forged qualifications, the Witness reported on Monday.
Department head Nkosinathi Sishi said on Friday that fraud investigations dated back to 2005.
Sishi said the officials who were initially caught told the department about others who obtained certificates in a similar way.
"The minute they were found, they spilled the beans about the others who obtained certificates in a similar way," he was quoted as saying in the Witness.
Their cases have been referred for criminal prosecution in different courts in the province.
Sishi said the department had also investigated 32 officials in connection with the school nutrition programme aimed at feeding pupils.
Fourteen officials, including six principals, seven teachers and one security guard were dismissed after going through the disciplinary hearings. – Sapa.