A final year student at Stellenbosch University shed tears when he finally received his matric certificate, seven years after sitting his exams at Wynberg Boys' High School.
Buntu Nqabeni wrote his Matric in 2011, but he never received his certificate due to apparent administrative issues involving the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) and education quality control body Umalusi.
Buntu and his mother, Nobesuthu Nqabeni, struggled for years to resolve the matter and were concerned because he would not be able to graduate from the university without the official piece of paper.
Nobesuthu says it was an emotionally strenuous journey with the education department, which she says never provided any clear answers.
The ordeal affected Buntu's academic career in the past, as he was unable to register to complete his studies last year.
This year he was accepted back at the institution, but the Dean of the Faculty told him that he would need to provide his matric certificate if he wishes to obtain his degree.
Nobesuthu says her son finally held his certificate in his hands for the first time on Saturday and they both cried during that emotional moment.
She says Buntu will now be registering for his Honours degree next year, despite the past setbacks to his academic career.
The determined mother says she will continue helping parents and other young people who also find themselves in similar situations.
On Thursday they emailed my son to say that his matric certificate is available.— Nobesuthu Nqabeni, mother of Buntu Nqabeni
On Friday afternoon, after seven years, I finally got my son's certificate.— Nobesuthu Nqabeni, mother of Buntu Nqabeni
It was an emotional moment for me, but it was even worse for my son when I met him on Saturday afternoon to give him the certificate in Stellenbosch.— Nobesuthu Nqabeni, mother of Buntu Nqabeni
He cried so hard. He couldn't talk for a while. We both cried.— Nobesuthu Nqabeni, mother of Buntu Nqabeni
It was such an emotional strain to go through seven years of talking to the department. There was no clear explanation that they could give us.— Nobesuthu Nqabeni, mother of Buntu Nqabeni
That was the most frustrating thing because we didn't know what they required from us.— Nobesuthu Nqabeni, mother of Buntu Nqabeni
He couldn't even get his academic transcript in order to apply for a bursary for these Honours that he wants to do.— Nobesuthu Nqabeni, mother of Buntu Nqabeni
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This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'After seven years, my son finally got his matric certificate from WCED'