A retired senior South African Police Officer, Colonel Vincent Mdunge, is to refund part of a total of R3.5 million he earned as salary in about 27 years of service.
Durban – Former provincial police spokesman, Colonel Vincent Mdunge, has been found guilty of a forgery and two fraud charges.
Col Mdunge, former provincial police spokesman for KwaZulu Natal, is to make the refund, yet to be calculated, because he should not have risen to the rank of Colonel since he did not join the Police with a matric certificate in 1987 but a Standard 8 certificate.
This follows his having been found guilty on three of five fraud charges preferred against him by the state by Magistrate Thandeka Fikeni of the Durban Regional Court on November 5.
The court found him guilty of forgery and two fraud charges but dismissed the two other fraud charges against him.
The Magistrate said Mdunge was not guilty of fraud in relation to gaining entry into the SA police service since at the time he joined a matric certificate was no required for appointment as special constable. They were only required to have Standard 8, now Grade 10 pass at the time of the violence in KZN in the late 80s and early 90s.
“Mdunge could have been a special constable when he joined in 1987, which at the time did not require a matric certificate”, Fikeni ruled
Fikeni also dismissed the charge of altering which he said was the same as forgery for which he found him guilty.
But the Magistrate found Mdunge guilty of matric fraud since it was his Standard 8 certificate that he forged to gain admission into the University of South Africa.
“The state has proved it is not a valid certificate,” Magistrate Fikeni said.
Mdunge had faced a total of five charges.
The forgery charge was in relation to the falsified matric certificate.
The first fraud charge relates to the collective salary of R3.5 million Mdunge had earned during his time in the police service.
The highest rank a police officer is allowed to achieve in the police force without a matric certificate is that of warrant officer. Mdunge had reached the rank of colonel. And may likely be asked to refund salaries above the rank of warrant officer
The second fraud charge was in relation to gaining access to the University of South Africa with a fake matric certificate, apparently in a bid to earn the ranks above WO.
Fikeni said the state would have to review the R3.5 million figure as Mdunge was entitled to some of the money.
Prosecutor Barend Groen had argued during the trial that Mdunge failed matric in 1985 and wrote supplementary exams in 1986, which he also failed.
He argued the matric certificate that Mdunge used was a fake, had been tampered with and that the examination number on the certificate was in fact Mdunge’s Standard 8 examination number.
In September last year allegations had been made that he had submitted a fake matric certificate when he joined the police service in 1987.
After the allegations the former top cop resigned but was arrested and charged last October.
He is said to have links to Magma Investigation, a private security company.
Mdunge sat hunched in the dock as his advocate Saleem Khan told the court that his client would be seeking leave to appeal.
Sentencing will take place on December 17, the next adjourned date.