NSFAS, Nzimande furious over Outa claims

Henry

The Minister of Higher Education and Training, Blade Nzimande, as well as the National Financial Aid Scheme for Students (NSFAS) say they are outraged by Outa’s statement in which it is insisted that Nzimande and Ernest Khosa, chairman of the NSFAS board, be removed from office become

RNews earlier reported that allegations of a patronage network in the department of higher education are currently making the rounds. Nzimande and Khosa are directly implicated.

Outa shared an investigation report and two voice recordings with the Special Investigation Unit (SUE) – which has been investigating corruption at NSFAS since 2022 – to support the damning allegations.

“Khosa strongly and contemptuously rejected the poll and insinuation that he received money, which was intended for him, Minister Nzimande, and the South African Communist Party (SACP) and other third parties,” said a statement from NSFAS. .

“The NSFAS Board notes that some unscrupulous individuals and organizations are fighting back to derail NSFAS’s focus on implementing the recommendations contained in the Workers’ Solicitors report.

“It is also interesting to note that the Outa statement comes alongside NSFAS’s board decision to commence legal action to terminate contracts from service providers for direct payment solutions.”

According to the statement, the NSFAS board’s first priority is to finalize preparations for the successful start of the 2024‑ academic year.

“While NSFAS respects the critical role that civil society organizations play, it is now clear that Outa is gradually moving away from its claimed ‘high moral values’ and ‘impartiality’.

“It is also a worrying trend that Outa’s successive ‘investigative’ reports are characterized by advocacy for the business interests of some individuals and companies who may have tried unsuccessfully to solicit business from NSFAS,” the statement said.

Nzimande said in a statement that he would like to assure the public that he never used any money from any of the department’s entities for the purpose of financing the South African Communist Party (SACP).

“The allegations in the leaked report are reckless and largely based on gossip. It is intended to undermine a successful start to the 2024‑ academic year,” he says.

“And given the damaging allegations perpetuated in this report, I reserve the right to take the necessary legal action.”