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Nzimande Denies Accepting Kickbacks From NSFAS

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Nzimande Denies Accepting Kickbacks From NSFAS

Nzimande Denies Accepting Kickbacks From NSFAS. Higher education, science, and innovation minister Blade Nzimande, along with SACP and NSFAS board chairperson Ernest Khosa, has vehemently denied allegations of corrupt activities related to NSFAS deals. The accusations were put forth by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa).

Denial and Reassurance

Minister Nzimande, addressing a media briefing in Pretoria, refuted the claims, assuring the South African public that he never utilized funds from his department for the SACP, as suggested by Outa. He also dismissed the insinuations of personal kickbacks from NSFAS service providers.

OUTA Claims and Leaked Recordings

Outa, in its report, accused Nzimande, the SACP, and Khosa of involvement in a criminal cartel within NSFAS. Leaked recordings released by Outa allegedly detailed multimillion-rand tenders being awarded to service providers who, in turn, paid kickbacks to the accused.

Nzimande Track Record Against Corruption

Minister Nzimande defended his track record, citing his longstanding commitment to fighting corruption within NSFAS and Technical Vocational Education & Training (TVET) colleges. He highlighted disciplinary actions initiated against employees and support for the NSFAS board in addressing irregularities.

Fundraising for SACP and Funding Restrictions

While acknowledging his fundraising efforts for the SACP, Nzimande clarified that all activities were conducted transparently. He emphasized adhering to SACP guidelines, which prohibit fundraising from entities under his departments or knowingly from service providers in that space.

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Allegations as Part of a Fightback Campaign

Nzimande asserted that the accusations against him and Khosa were part of a malicious fightback campaign linked to their successful anti-corruption measures. He pointed to the threats against the life of the NSFAS chairperson and connected the leaked recordings to efforts aimed at undermining the termination of contracts with direct payment service providers.

See also  What Is The Problem With NSFAS?

Commitment to Address Allegations

Expressing his commitment to addressing the allegations, Nzimande stated that he would meet with the NSFAS board. He reiterated ongoing collaboration with the police to eliminate corruption within NSFAS.

Conclusion

Minister Nzimande maintained his innocence, framing the allegations as part of a broader campaign to undermine anti-corruption efforts. The situation remains dynamic as investigations and discussions with the NSFAS board are set to unfold.

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