Ohangwena teacher who attacked friend has ‘fake’ degree

20 April 2021 | Crime

TUYEIMO HAIDULA



OSHAKATI

A charge of fraud, forgery and altering are new accusations brought towards Fransina Mwetufa, bringing the charges against her to five in less than two months.

Initially, Mwetufa (27), a teacher from Limbadungila Combined School in the Ohakafiya circuit of the Ohangwena Region, was arrested for allegedly stabbing a colleague whom she had offered to take out for lunch.

The victim, Ndapewa Indongo (24), told Namibian Sun last month that a school management meeting discovered that Mwetufa stole N$6 500 from the principal’s account and she was alerted that the school would open a disciplinary case against her.

Indongo said Mwetufa invited her for lunch to talk about the suspect’s financial problems. It was on their way to the planned lunch date that the suspect turned violent and attacked her.

Barely a week later, she appeared in the Oshakati Magistrate’s Court for forgery after she allegedly acquired a Polo Vivo by providing false bank statements as proof of payment.

Oshana police spokesperson Thomas Aiyambo said Mwetufa allegedly pretended to sell her car to car dealer Maree Hendrick Johannes, and after a few days, she went with intentions to buy it back. The police report indicated that the transaction took place on 22 March.

Forged qualifications

Mwetufa is yet to appear on the fresh charges brought against her by the education ministry, where she is charged of having submitted a forged tertiary education qualification, academic record and bachelor’s degree in upper primary education to obtain a teaching position.

Ohangwena police crime investigations coordinator, deputy commissioner Zacharias Amakali, confirmed that a case has been opened, and said Mwetufa is expected to appear in Eenhana Magistrate’s Court.

Regional education director Isak Hamatwi, who also confirmed the incident to Namibian Sun on Monday, said they are investigating a possible act of forgery and altering against the suspect.

He was at pains to divulge more information, saying “it is unfortunate that it was leaked to social media at this infant stage”.

He said the school became suspicious when Mwetufa stabbed her colleague and all the other cases surfaced.

Hamatwi said they contacted the University of Namibia (Unam) to confirm the authenticity of Mwetufa’s qualifications.

“We got curious and it came to our attention that she is not a qualified teacher. We are engaging the university to find out if she passed, graduated or forged her qualifications,” he said.

‘Uncomfortable matter’

Unam spokesperson John Haufiku was not aware of the enquiry being brought to the university’s legal department, but Hamatwi said this is because the issue is a sensitive matter and is being treated as such.

“The university just wants to treat this staff matter in confidence. It is just unfortunate that it was leaked. It is really an uncomfortable matter to discuss with the media at this stage,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mwetufa remains in custody after she was denied bail on the two occasions she appeared in court.

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