DA lodges ethics complaint against Blade Nzimande

Issued by Chantel King MP – DA Shadow Minister of Higher Education
22 Jan 2024 in News

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

The DA has lodged a complaint against Higher Education Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, with the joint committee on ethics and members’ interests in Parliament. We have requested an investigation into the serious allegations by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) that the Minister, the South African Communist Party (SACP), and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) Chairperson, Ernest Khosa, have received kickbacks from a NSFAS service provider.

These allegations, if found to be true, would mean that the Minister has violated the parliamentary code of ethical conduct and disclosure of members’ interest, as well as the principles of selflessness, integrity, objectivity, openness, honesty, and leadership, contained in the code, and expected of members of parliament.

It is crucial that this investigation determine whether the Minister is guilty of ethical misconduct and if any public funds were indeed mismanaged.

If the Minister is innocent, as he proclaimed – although he has not yet provided any evidence to support his case – he should welcome the opportunity to clear his name.

If the Minister is guilty, however, he must be fired.

Every year thousands of vulnerable students that depend on NSFAS are let down in some way – if their money isn’t paid late, then they never receive their accommodation allowances, or they’re wrongly deregistered mid-year.

And every year the Minister makes excuses or attempts to shift the blame – as the Minister is trying to do now by blaming universities for the late payment of last year’s outstanding allowances.

It is clear that Minister Nzimande has long since lost sight of who he’s mandated to serve – students who are trying to carve out prosperous futures against overwhelming challenges, many of which have been placed there by the Minister and his Department’s ineptitude, and now alleged corruption.

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