Vincent Mdunge joined the South African Police Service in 1987 with an allegedly fake matric certificate and spent the next 25 years working his way up to the position of Colonel and police spokesman for KwaZulu-Natal.
Today, Mdunge is the subject of a court battle in which the State are not only charging him with fraud and “uttering a false document”, but seeking over R3 million from the, now, former cop.
Mdunge’s alleged lie about his qualification was uncovered during a national SAPS audit in 2013, after which he resigned and the police instituted legal action against him.
The former spokesman was earning between R500 000 and R600 000 a year at the time of his resignation, and the State is adamant that his accumulated wealth during his tenure must be paid back. The matter may be referred to the Asset Forfeiture Unit, according to reports.
The State’s argument is simple: Mdunge lied about having his matric and therefore should not have been employed in the first place, irrelevant of his performance in the job.
To make matters worse for Mdunge, the University of South Africa are looking into taking back his diploma – which he legitimately obtained – after enrolling with the alleged fake matric certificate.
Unisa said Mdunge obtained a national diploma in police administration in 1997.
In comparison to the current situation at the SABC and the allegations that its COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng lied about his matric qualification, one would not fault Mdunge for feeling hard done by.
Following a report by the Public Protector that Motsoeneng – then acting COO – lied about his matric qualifications and that his salary increased from R1.5 million to R2.4 million in one year, Thuli Madonsela recommended a new COO be appointed promptly.
A new permanent COO was announced by Communication Minister Faith Muthambi in July – Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
While Motsoeneng remains COO of the national broadcaster, Mdunge is set to return to court on 21 August.