The Department of Higher Education and Training says it has handed over its forensic report to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation to probe further possible financial mismanagement at the National Skills Fund (NSF).
The report was compiled after an investigation into the R2.5 billion which was not accounted for in the NSF’s annual financial statements.
The money was highlighted as a financial injection for skills development by the fund for 10 projects.
Director General Nkosinathi Sishi says the request for the Hawks to investigate further is not limited to the10 projects that were earmarked for skills development.
The Department was briefing the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training in Parliament on the progress made in the implementation of the forensic report on financial mismanagement within the NSF.
Higher Education’s forensic report on possible corruption in the NSF: Asanda Ngoasheng
The committee expressed unhappiness in the report. The chairperson of the committee Nompendulo Mkhatswa took a swipe at the officials that are implicated in the investigation.
“And the fact that there are people who are within our ecosystem who clearly do not have the best intentions of what we are trying to achieve through the mandate of this department and its entities, it’s a crisis, and it is like we have allowed snakes to just basks our department and out government.”
The Director General told the committee that they have handed over the report to the Hawks for further investigations.
He said the scope of the investigation by the Hawks has been extended.
“We are not limiting the Hawks to the terms of reference of the report. But we went as far as if they can pick up any inconsistency, particularly because we have to look at the sample of the 10 projects against other projects that are there.”
Sishi also said a comprehensive review of financial statements in various entities reporting to the department is currently being undertaken.
“The meetings are about engaging on the audit compliance issues. We continue to and we have cast the net wider than just NSF. When it comes to this we are looking holistically with the auditor general and all other entities including Setas and colleges and all universities including all other entities that are not audited by the auditor general but have their own internal auditors..”
The department said all the officials implicated in the report have been suspended.