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Bogus teacher arrested for defrauding Department of Education of over R1 million

Media Statement
Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation


MPUMALANGA - Miss Ntombelanga Pretty Labane (40) appeared before the Amersfoort Magistrate Court on Thursday, 16 May 2024, after she was arrested by the Hawks Secunda based Serious Commercial Crime Investigation unit for fraud.   

It is alleged that on 1 September 2016, Labane applied for a business and accounting educator’s post at Hlelimfundo Secondary School in Amersfoort under Volksrust circuit. Labane submitted a CV, copies of a fraudulent Matric certificate, a B-ED degree, and SACE certificates to the school principal, who informed the school management team to consider her application. They then agreed that she is suitable for the post. The principal also informed the SGB (School Governing Body) about the decision taken by the school management team. The SGB  also supported the decision .

The management team allowed Labane to apply for the post, and she was given an application document called EDU 1 to apply for the post. SGB members and the principal signed the application forms on 12 September 2016. All relevant documents were sent to the circuit manager who signed and took them to the Department of Education District office at Ermelo. The application was sent to the Human Resource Persal registry section, and it was forwarded to the human resource provisioning section. After the human resource provisioning section checked it, it was forwarded to the employment section where it was captured and Labane was employed.

The whistle blower who knew that Labane did not pass matric reported the matter to the Public Service Commission that is based in Mpumalanga. The matter was then investigated by the Public Service Commission. After investigations, findings and recommendations were made. The principal , circuit manager and the district office were asked about a fraudulent matric certificate and they reported that they did not noticed that the matric certificate was fraudulent as they do not have detectors to verify the validity of the documents .The public service commission referred the matter to the Hawks Secunda based Serious Commercial Crime investigation for further investigation on July 2022. 

During further Investigation by the dedicated team, it was discovered that Labane does not have Grade 12 certificate, and that she wrote and failed matric four times in (2003,2004,2005 and 2006) and did not pass it. Labane then forged the matric certificate by putting the certificate number: 040 9517 7028 B, which belonged to another candidate called Nozipho Ritta Ngema. The results that were appearing on her fraudulent matric certificate were not her real results.

She then took the fraudulent matric certificate and applied at Walter Sisulu University whereby she obtained her B-ED degree. She also applied for an SACE certificate with that fraudulent matric certificate, She also applied for educator’s post at Hlelimfundo Secondary School.

It was also discovered that from September 2016, Labane prejudiced  and caused an actual & potential loss amount of  R1292382.11 to the Department of Education, which was earned by Labane during the time of employment.During the discovery, Labane  abandoned the job and disappeared . Investigation was finalised, and the court issued J175 on 16 April 2024  against Labane to appear in Court . She was traced, arrested, and appeared before the Amersfoort Magistrate Court on Thursday, 16 May 2024. The case was postponed to 13 June 2024 for further investigation.

The Provincial Head of the Hawks Major General Gerber applauded the investigating team for the successful investigation that linked the accused with the crime. He further appreciated the whistle blowers and encouraged them to continue reporting such occurrences as unqualified educators cannot provide the quality of education demanded and expected by learners. It produces poor pass rates and places the education system at risk. “The General suggests and advises departments to put measures in place to verify qualification and employment records and only once verified employ compotent applicants,” he concluded.


Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi
071 481 3493