Endless battle for matric certificate

Lungisile Maqula shows Vukani some of the documents he has given the department.

A Gugulethu resident has been trying for the past eight years to get a copy of his matric certificate.

Lungisile Maqula, who matriculated from ID Mkhize Secondary School in 1993, has had to put his dream of studying social work on hold.

The 46-year-old lost his original certificate in 2012 and said he immediately started applying for a copy from the Western Cape Education Department (WCED).

He claims that he has visited the department a number of times with all the relevant documents.

He said he explained “thoroughly” how he lost his certificate but has been sent from pillar to post without anyone telling him how he can be helped. Mr Maqula said initially he was told to pay R76 but when he returned to the department three weeks later, he was told that he needed to look for some of his former classmates who also have a surname that starts with MA.

“My life has come to a complete stop,” he said. “It’s been eight years since I have been trying to get a reprint but nothing has been done to assist me.

“Now that I don’t have a matric certificate it’s like I never went to school.

“I can’t apply for a job that requires a matric certificate or further my studies,” he said.

He said he then turned to his former school which gladly assisted him and informed the department that he had indeed passed matric.

Mr Maqula said he used to work for the South African Security Agency (SASSA), as an administrator, however, in 2012 he decided to stop working with the intention of going back to school and studying social work.

But he said he never anticipated that his plans would be put on hold.

He said his mother had misplaced his matric certificate and they could not find it any where.

Mr Maqula said he was at a loss as to what more he could do to get a copy of his much needed matric certificate .

WCED spokeperson, Paddy Attwell, said their correspondence system shows they had received an application for a replacement certificate from Mr Maqula on August 29 2014.

The department was unable to retrieve any information of Mr Maqula with the details provided.

A letter was sent to Mr Maqula’s address informing him of the department’s challenge in retrieving the results. “No correspondence was received from Mr Maqula in this regard, other than your email below,” said Mr Attwell. He said as part of the investigation, a request was sent to the National Department of Education in Pretoria, to assist them in retrieving the results of Mr Maqula.

He said a list of matric candidates registered at ID Mkhize Secondary School in 1993, was provided but initially there was no candidate that fitted the profile or details of Mr Maqula. However, when scrutinising the list for a second time, they found a candidate with similar details as that of Mr Maqula .

Mr Attwell said it appears that Mr Maqula, when registered at ID Mkhize Secondary School in 1993, used the names George Lungisile Maqhula and the date of birth was 28 December 1972.

However, he said when Mr Maqula applied in 2014 for the replacement of the certificate, he used the name Lungisile Maqula and the date of birth was 20 December 1972.

“As indicated above, it was impossible to request a copy of a certificate with the details provided by Mr Maqula as it differs to the information used at registration in 1993.

“The department now needs to determine whether the results we have on the examination system indeed belongs to Mr Maqula as both the ID number as well as the spelling of the surnames currently being used, differs,” said Mr Attwell.