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According to Nzimande NSFAS “Leaked Recordings” are Based on Gossip

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 According to Nzimande NSFAS "Leaked Recordings" are Based on Gossip

According to Nzimande NSFAS “Leaked Recordings” are Based on Gossip. Leaked recordings suggesting kickbacks to Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande in relation to NSFAS tenders have surfaced, causing controversy. However, Nzimande vehemently denies these claims, dismissing them as malicious and an attempt to disrupt the 2024 academic year.

OUTA Revelations

Last week, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) released voice recordings exposing alleged multimillion-dollar kickbacks to Nzimande and NSFAS Board Chairperson Ernest Khosa. OUTA’s report sheds light on corruption within NSFAS, raising concerns about the awarding of tenders and potential mismanagement.

Minister Response

Minister Nzimande labels the leaked report as reckless gossip, aiming to undermine the upcoming academic year. He refutes any misuse of funds from department entities for the South African Communist Party (SACP), of which he is a general secretary. Nzimande warns of potential legal action against OUTA for their investigative publication.

NSFAS Direct Allowance Payment System

OUTA’s findings extend beyond the leaked recordings, addressing issues related to the direct NSFAS allowance payment system. Concerns arise regarding possible relationships between key individuals, including former NSFAS CEO Andile Nongogo, and the four companies facilitating direct payments.

Tender Irregularities

OUTA highlights irregularities in the tender process for direct NSFAS allowance payments, suggesting inflated service charges for students compared to commercial banks. Former CEO Andile Nongogo’s role in awarding tenders during his tenure is scrutinized, leading to his termination in 2023.

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Actions Taken by NSFAS

Board Chairperson Ernest Khosa announces NSFAS’s intention to terminate contracts with direct payment service providers due to perceived irregularities. Efforts are made to ensure a fair process without disadvantaging students.

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Conclusion

The controversy surrounding the leaked recordings and OUTA’s revelations adds to the existing challenges within NSFAS. The Minister’s firm denial and the ongoing investigation into tender irregularities underscore the need for transparency and accountability within the education financing system.

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