EFF Member of Parliament opens case against Nzimande and NSFAS chair

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The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Member of Parliament Mandla Shikwambana has opened a case against Higher Education Minister Dr Blade Nzimande and NSFAS chairperson Ernest Khoza at the Nelspruit Police Station in Mbombela, Mpumalanga.

The case relates to the leaked audio recording by OUTA, exposing alleged corrupt dealings and kickbacks from NSFAS service providers to Nzimande. Shikwambana is also a member of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education. Nzimande has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and vowed to stay in his position.

The EFF and other political parties are calling for the resignation of Nzimande. The Higher Education Minister is accused of receiving kickbacks from NSFAS service providers, amounting to millions. The financial aid scheme has been plagued by challenges, including late payments and issues with service providers among others.

“They supposed to be providing allowances to students but they steal the money of students and share it among themselves. The students on the ground are struggling, our sisters and brothers in universities and TVET colleges do not have accommodation, they are not funded as we speak today. This year alone 280 students will be defunded because of the budget cuts which is affecting and we are speaking about plus or 2 800 students who did not receive their allowance last year. If you look it is the money that goes missing and into the pockets of NSFAS officials and the minister,” says Shikwambana.

Students who depend on NSFAS for their studies says since the introduction of service providers, things took a turn for the worse.

“I was about to register for my third year here at UNISA, they never paid for my registration. My registration collapsed because it was temporary registered then I was not studying the pass year because of this thing of service providers, and I don’t know what happened because I have the results and made a follow up,” says Willy Gwebu, student.

“The problem with the service providers, they charges are too much, they charge something like R30 to do a single transaction,” another student said.

Minister Nzimande has denied receiving kickbacks. He also vowed to remain in his position and called for investigations into the recordings.

Video: Nzimande dismisses NSFAS corruption allegations