Professor Blade Nzimande has refuted allegations against him by OUTA’s report. The Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Innovation assured South Africans that he has never used money from his department’s entities to fund the SACP*.
Addressing media in Pretoria, the Minister refuted claims of receiving personal kickbacks from service providers to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) or any entities under his departments. According to SANews, OUTA’s report alleged that service providers appointed to administer NSFAS’ new direct payment system paid him millions of rands in kickbacks.
Asserting the baselessness of OUTA’s insinuations, the Minister stated, “These are all lies that emanate from a malicious fight-back campaign. My conscience is clear, and I have nothing to hide or fear.” He affirmed his intention to take necessary legal action and voluntarily subject himself to relevant legal processes and ethics bodies of the African National Congress (ANC) and the SACP.
Highlighting his anti-corruption efforts, Nzimande pointed to his track record in fighting corruption at NSFAS and Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges. He highlighted supporting initiatives to address irregularities and corruption, including terminating contracts for direct payment service providers.
The Minister noted that the allegations are part of a nefarious fight-back campaign linked to success in fighting corruption at NSFAS. In his view, leaked recordings and the OUTA report aim to undermine decisions by the NSFAS Board to terminate contracts of direct payment service providers.
Despite the challenges posed by the allegations and leaks, Nzimande assured the public of his commitment to rooting out corruption and ensuring clean governance at NSFAS and all entities under his departments. He pledged to provide updates on the 2024 academic year’s preparedness and readiness in upcoming press conferences later in the week.
*South African Communist Party
Picture: X / Yfm
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