By Denver Kisting
THE ten men and one woman accused of forging degrees and diplomas yesterday had their case postponed until Thursday for a decision by the Prosecutor General (PG).
The ten Angolans and one Namibian may possibly plead to the charges against them later this week.
Paulus Noa, the director of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), yesterday said that the ACC had forwarded the docket to the PG. She could base her decision whether to prosecute on the existing docket, or order further investigations, Noa said.
The accused were arrested at their supposed graduation party last weekend.
Johannes Kandali Kalimbo (28), the Namibian who was arrested, is suspected to be the mastermind behind the alleged syndicate.
Machinery and equipment suspected to have been used to manufacture degrees and diplomas of Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN), the International University of Management (IUM) and the Institute of Commercial Management (ICM) were allegedly found and confiscated at Kalimbo’s house.
The other accused are Mesias Francisco Gola (24), Andre Garcia Teixeira (24), Fausto Raimundo da Silva (26), Pedro Diego (26), Oliviera Morai (22), Pedro Miguel Maiembe (26), Antonio Costa Francisco (27), Mario Augusto da Costa (32), Tomas Quissanga (25) and Danilcia Fernandes Garcia (24).
They all made a first appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court last week on charges ranging from contravening the Anti-Corruption Commission Act to fraud, forgery and uttering.
It is suspected that a diploma was sold for N$5 000, while a degree was sold at N$7 500, Noa said last week.
According to Noa, the ACC received a tip-off from a whistleblower to investigate the alleged forgery syndicate.
Qualifications from the University of Namibia could also have been forged, he said.
Noa said they were still investigating whether officials from the tertiary institutions had a finger in the forgery pie.
Noa earlier said the supposed graduation party was allegedly aimed at convincing parents, relatives and friends who had travelled from Angola that the students had graduated.
The investigation found that someone was offered N$12 000 and a laptop computer to act as a representative of PoN to hand over the qualifications at the party.
“This demonstrates how certain gangs of corrupt persons are hell-bent to corrupt Namibia’s tertiary education, whether those persons are Namibian citizens or foreign nationals. They penetrate the job market when they have not gone through proper academic training for diplomas or degrees they possess,” Noa said.
This article was written by Denver Kisting and originally published on allafrica