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Theft charge against Shields

Mark Shields is facing a charge of theft and is accused by students of being part of a scam that cons matriculants out of their money, supposedly for registration to write exams.

15 May 2013 | Jana Boshoff

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Police spokesperson WO Lize de Witt said that the Middelburg Detectives Branch has released a warning to students currently writing their national senior exams to be careful of people taking money from them on behalf of the Department of Education.

According to the complainant in the matter, Pinkie Pelzer, she was requested by Shields to pay R1 200 for Department of Education fees.

She went to the authorities after a representative of the Department of Education informed her that no such money had to be paid.

Mrs Pelzer said that her whole world has been turned upside down since her enrollment at Damelin.

After enrolling at Damelin last year, she only got to attend lectures in Computer Literacy and Mathematics Literacy.

When she did receive her registration form she said that she was registered for the wrong subjects.

“I fear that I will not be able to pass matric because I do not have any knowledge or books for half the subjects I am registered for.”

Mrs Pelzer said that Shields informed her that she will not be writing Computer Literacy because there are no computers available.

On Friday 3 May Mrs Pelzer had to write her first paper, Mathematics.

The paper she got was Functional Mathematics, a subject she never had.

When she complained about it she said that Shields telephonically told her to try and write the paper and see how much she can complete whilst he would try and sort out the mess.

“I handed in my answer sheet with almost nothing on it. The questions on the paper were definitely not from the book I studied out of.”

She was informed that the subjects she is registered for cannot be changed.

Mrs Pelzer says out of the six subjects she is registered for she will only be able to write three - Afrikaans, English and Business Economics.

Computer Literacy she cannot write because of no computers, it seems that she wrote the wrong Mathematics paper and she was not registered for the other subject she enrolled for, Accounting.

Mrs Pelzer further said that she received tuition in Maths from Mr Shaun de Wet, Shields’ life partner.

During an interview with the Middelburg Observer Shields made it clear that his partner did not have anything to do with Damelin or his new business venture.

Mr Jasper Zwane, provincial spokesperson for the Department of Education, said that the department do not ask fees for registration.

“I want to request all victims of this scam to report it to the police.”

Children were never registered

Mrs Freda Kruger heard on Wednesday that her daughters Corika and Catherine Connear were never registered with the Department of Education.

It was confirmed by Mr Zwane after cross checking their ID numbers on their database for students registered in 2011 and 2012.

Mrs Kruger said that she too had to pay R1 200 for each of her children to register for the exams in 2011.

She said that Shields gave her the confirmation letters in 2012 to say that both her children passed and were waiting for their National Senior Certificates. In 2013 he said that her daughters should be writing the national exam currently being written at the Nasaret Combined School.

“Who in their right minds make kids write exams a year and a half after they had their classes?”

She has also opened a case of fraud and theft against Shields.

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