DA echoes civil society call for Ramaphosa to fire Blade Nzimande

Issued by Chantel King MP – DA Shadow Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation
05 Jan 2024 in News

Note to Editors: Please find attached soundbite by Chantel King MP

The Democratic Alliance calls on President Ramaphosa to immediately fire Minister Blade Nzimande from his duties as Minister and lodge an investigation into his involvement with NSFAS syphoned funds.  The President must also use his power to suspend NSFAS board chairperson Mr. Khosa from having any involvement with state funds.

OUTA’s release of voice recording between two meetings between Mr. Khosa, Mr. Thulas Ntumba a service provider and an anonymous individual revealed a corrupt patronage system who is only focused on diverting funds away from students.

These recordings revealed how a third party was informed of NSFAS dealings around the issue of former CEO Andile Nongogo and the instruction given to Mr. Khosa by Mr. Ntumba to enrol the services of Werksman’s attorneys to investigate allegations against Mr. Nongogo to control the situation.  It also revealed how Mr. Ntumba and associates paid for SACP’s congress and kickbacks to Mr. Khosa and the Minister.

These voice recordings give a glimpse into corruption at NSFAS under the current board chairperson who is controlled by a syndicate who’s tentacles stretch to SETA’s funds as well.

Minister Nzimande’s war room to tackle challenges at the start of the academic year is therefore nothing more than a smoke screen to divert attention away from the fact that more than 20 000 students still have not been onboarded.

In another report by OUTA, it reveals how accommodation service providers (institutions and private) will be short changed when applying on NSFAS centralised system per bed accreditation and a 5% monthly fee to NSFAS, which will leave many NSFAS students destitute.  Tender agreements with service providers must also be scrutinised, as well as the involvement of the current acting NSFAS CEO Mr. Masile Ramorwesi as the then finance director.

These allegations and recording must be tested without any interference.  President Ramaphosa must keep in mind these corrupt activities to syphoned funds culminated into 87 712 students who will not be funded this year.

Minister Blade and NSFAS board chairperson are tainted and they must be investigated and fired with immediate effect, notwithstanding criminal charges laid against them as this is nothing less than NSFAS capture 2.0!

Students and the higher education sector at large is vital to produce educated and skilled individuals for the economic progression of the country. The DA will ensure that the reports released by OUTA, and any criminal charges or investigations lodged, will be thoroughly investigated and those found responsible be appropriately sanctioned and/or imprisoned.