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Fraud Probe Shuts Down Two Joburg Private Schools, With Staff Arrested and Pupils Sent Home



Two private schools in Johannesburg shut down courtesy of the Gauteng Hawks, who arrested the directors, staff, and students. According to News24, Hillcrest International School and Academy of Sciences were closed on Monday for allegedly operating without education department registration.

With the help of the SAPS, education department, and Home Affairs officials, Gauteng Hawks arrested several staffers and sent the students, about 200 foreign nationals, home. Petros Lyson, the director of Hillcrest, and his sons, who taught at the primary school, were arrested. In addition, Gauteng Hawks also arrested five staff members. Tinonmvonga Maranguza, who ran the Academy of Sciences, a high school, was also taken into custody.

The accused were charged with fraud, and failure to register the institutions, which violates the South African Schools Act. The accused, who are Nigerian and Zimbabwean nationals, appeared in court on Wednesday and are expected to appear again on Monday and Thursday.

Lyson also faces charges of facilitating fraudulent paperwork to traffic four minors to Dublin, Ireland. He will join his co-accused at the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court on 13 April 2023.

The Gauteng Hawks head urged students to check colleges’ credentials with the Department of Education and pledged to present a watertight case to ensure that criminals stop exploiting the future of South African youth.


Also read: Bedfordview Creche Accused of Withholding CCTV Footage Following Tragic Death of 2-Year-Old Kganya Mokhele

Photo by kyo azuma on Unsplash

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