Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
10 Mar 2020
9:18 am

UJ says reports ‘Phindile’ hacked its systems for distinctions are fake

Citizen Reporter

'Phindile' has been trending on social media, with most hailing her efforts and calling for IT companies to give her a job.

University of Johannesburg. Picture: UJ

The University of Johannesburg has rubbished claims made on social media that one of its students, Phindile, hacked its IT panels and gave herself and other students distinctions to graduate.

The story initially appeared on Gallant Post in June last year and was republished on Hitng Info five days ago before making its way to social media on Tuesday morning.

According to the two identical reports, Phindile apparently accessed IT panels of the UJ website and gave herself two distinctions on two modules she had been struggling with because her bursary had ditched her and parents could not afford to put her through school.

“Further investigations found that she did not do it for her self only. She edited marks for 200 other students who were having problems passing their modules,” reads the fake report, further quoting an anonymous person saying some of the students at the university graduated because of Phindile’s actions.

“They probably thought it was a miracle. The university is busy trying to reach a final decision on whether they can cancel the degrees issued with marks that were edited by Phindile.

“We reached out to some of the degree holders and some are already working, it will be a very hard decision to make,” the anonymous person was quoted as saying.

The university said it had noted the reports and clarified they were fake.

It said: “UJ has noted a report peddling misinformation disguised as legitimate news. The report, which was published on a news satire/parody site, is FALSE! Sadly, many readers have been misled to believe that it is real news. It is FAKE news.”

This, has, however, not stopped social media users from commending Phindile’s “great work”, with some suggesting that the university give her a job.

She has been trending since.

(Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde)

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