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Bogus institutions a crisis in South Africa

The Department of Higher Education and Training forced the owner of Maritime Business and Computer College to close.

The owner of the Maritime Business and Computer College in Durban has been arrested for fraud.

He was first rescued by police after enraged students picketed outside the bogus institution demanding a full refund of their tuition fees.

The Department of Higher Education and Training forced the owner to close shop, saying the courses offered by the institution are not accredited.

Fed up and demanding action students at the Maritime and Business Computer College are demanding refunds.

After paying about R30 000 per annum these students discovered that the college is operating illegally.

Twenty-year-old Tlholohelo Khahleli, from Matatiele in the Eastern Cape, is pursuing her Diploma in Shipping and Logistics Studies.

She says her mother is devastated after paying a lot of money to the college.

"I pay a huge amount of fees, including accommodation and groceries - then after that they tell us the college is operating illegally, meaning I wasted my time."

The owner of the school claims the courses are registered in London.

CEO of Maritime and Business Computer College Jay Ramkisoon says: "The Department is saying that we should register with Higher Education. We are not a Higher Education institution and we do not offer diplomas."

The Department of Higher Education is stepping up its clampdown on illegal colleges. At least 60 cases have been opened against unregistered schools around the country since the beginning of the year.

Students and their parents have been advised to verify the status of private colleges before signing up. Police are investigating a case of fraud.

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