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NSFAS Probed Over Corruption Allegations | The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has caught the attention of investigative authorities for the wrong reasons. This comes as allegations of corruption and maladministration have surfaced leading to the appointment of a special anti-corruption council.
The SIU has launched an investigation into NSFAS and its business as a result of allegations of corruption and bad administration.
This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa signed a proclamation authorising the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to probe corruption and maladministration allegations at the bursary scheme. By doing so, the president established a National Corruption Council to fortify the nation’s defence against fraud and corruption.
The council is made up of academics, business executives, and representatives from civil society organisations and advocacy groups.
The SIU’s Spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago, went on to say that the president’s proclamation primarily requires them to probe how NSFAS manages their finances. This also includes looking into the bursary scheme’s entire transaction history dating back from 1 April 2016 to Friday 26 August 2022.
The proclamation asks us to investigate maladministration in the affairs of NSFAS and what we are looking at specifically is how they are managing their finances secondly we are looking into a situation where we have got to look into every transaction that happened in a period that is set out which is the 1st of April 2016 up until last Friday (26 August).
This also includes examining all loans and all bursary funds, including any funding that may have been provided for any of the funds that may be missing. The SIU will also investigate whether officials colluded with the entities involved and determine whether they were residential organisations, academic institutions, or TVET colleges.
After that, the investigating authority is expected to pursue a case before the tribunal to retrieve those funds.
“NSFAS was created for a reason, and the money allocated must be used for that purpose. We hear people say that some money was not used for that purpose. People are buying houses, people are buying cars with this money, all of those things,” Kganyago added
The investigation will also evaluate NSFAS’s unauthorised, irregular, wasteful, and wasteful spending to see if NSFAS complied with the Act when authorising transactions. It would be necessary to retrieve those funds if it wasn’t authorised.
Kganyago added that if any form of criminal or fraudulent behaviour is uncovered when the investigation is concluded, the matter will be further dealt with, through the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
In response NSFAS CEO, Andile Nongogo stated that the bursary scheme is in compliance with the investigation and that it was initiated by them.