Home South African Ex-NSFAS board chair Khosa ‘cleared’ on fraud claims

Ex-NSFAS board chair Khosa ‘cleared’ on fraud claims

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A report by Tshisevhe Attorneys Incorporated on fraud and corruption allegations by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse has reportedly cleared former NSFAS board chairperson Ernest Khosa.

Former NSFAS board chairperson Ernest Khosa. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi, Independent Newspapers

A REPORT by Tshisevhe Attorneys Incorporated (TGR) on fraud and corruption allegations by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has reportedly cleared former NSFAS board chairperson Ernest Khosa.

The report, dated March 28, was prepared by advocate William Mokhare SC, who was briefed by TGR on allegations over a series of leaked recordings and transcripts of two meetings allegedly held between Khosa and National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) service providers.

The allegations suggest that he purportedly received financial benefits from these service providers, implying a quid-pro-quo arrangement for facilitating appointments. Additionally, it is alleged that Khosa made decisions in collaboration with service providers.

In a statement, NSFAS said administrator Freeman Nomvalo received the report and it “found no evidence to substantiate allegations made in the Outa report”.

“The administrator will in due course announce measures to implement the recommendations.

“The report found no evidence to substantiate allegations made in the Outa report. The recommendations from advocate Mokhare SC include (that) the board should be guided by legal opinions from experts in administrative law in order to minimise NSFAS exposure to potentially damaging claims. The board should reprimand Khosa for his actions, for discussing the board and board decisions with Ntumba and Maluleke, and for failing to inform the board about such discussions.

“The board should expedite the implementation of the remaining recommendations of the Werksmans report and take a decision on how it would implement the termination of the contracts of service providers without prejudice to the beneficiaries of the students’ allowances,” NSFAS said.

The administrator will provide the contents of the report to Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande.

Khosa issued a resignation letter to Nzimande last month citing continued safety and security concerns, including for his family.

Nzimande accepted his resignation and his office publicly announced it.

Meanwhile, higher education student unions have described the accommodation issues faced in the new pilot system as a crisis, due to the alleged failure by NSFAS to settle outstanding rent at accredited private residences.

The South African Union of Students (SAUS) representing students and the South African Technical Vocational Education and Training Student Association (SATVETSA) have since called on the scheme to address the matter urgently following reports of students facing threats of being kicked out onto the street by landlords.

Students of some tertiary institutions were shown the door by fed-up accommodation owners who were feeling the pinch after they were not paid their monthly rent for about two months.

SAUS national spokesperson Asive Dlanjwa said both university and TVET students were affected.

Nomvalo confirmed on Friday that they had received complaints regarding alleged outstanding payments for private student accommodation.

He said they anticipated that these should be resolved during the course of this month and he apologised to all affected institutions, students and landlords and NSFAS committed itself to a “speedy” resolution.

“The administrator has also been made aware that, in some areas, the landlords have allegedly locked out students. Given the gravity of this situation, the administrator has assigned NSFAS staff to urgently attend to these matters.

“To ensure that these developments do not further disrupt teaching and learning, the administrator would like to urge the affected landlords to co-operate with the established NSFAS process to attend to all concerns.

“A dedicated e-mail address has been established to process all disputes or concerns. All landlords are encouraged to deposit their disputes or concerns only insofar as outstanding payments are concerned,” Nomvalo said.

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