15 January 2013

South Africa: Bogus College Shut Down, Owner Arrested

press release

The Hawks in Limpopo have on Monday afternoon closed down the Seshego Further Education and Training (FET) College in Zone 7, Seshego and its branch at 75 Church Street, Polokwane. The college owner (57), his wife (45) and a 31 year old accomplice were arrested in the process.

The trio's arrest was as a result of investigations which were initiated after students went to the Department of Education to enquire whether the college was registered with the department or not. After establishing that the college was not registered, the department alerted the police whose thorough investigation led to the closure of both campuses and the subsequent arrest of the three.

During the arrest a total R69 250 was found at the campuses. R54 700 was seized at the main campus in Seshego, whilst the balance of R14 550 was at the administrator's desk in the Polokwane campus. Computers with student information, bank receipts indicating that students have paid and other registers were seized investigation purposes.

The Polokwane campus also does business under a different name of TT FET College in the same building. The 31-year-old accomplice claims that he only registers and teaches students at his college but they write examinations at Seshego campus as his campus does not have a centre number.

The Seshego FET College, whose owner claims it is registered as Seshego Commercial and Computer College, has been in operation for the past 12 years whereas the Polokwane outlet only started its operation in 2012. The suspects will appear before the Seshego Magistrate's Court on Wednesday facing charges of fraud. More charges are likely to be added as investigations continue.

The Deputy Provincial Commissioner responsible for Directorate of Priority Crime Investigations (Hawks) Major General Dibero Molatjana urged all students to ascertain with the department of education if the college they are about to register with is a legitimate one or a fly-by-night. "We are on a mission to clamp down on all bogus institutions. Students must not lose money but verify the legitimacy of a school before paying the money. We salute the students who heeded to our call and contacted the education department to verify the status of the college which we have shut down", Molatjana said.

Issued by: South African Police Service

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