The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation is concerned about the Sunday Independent and its group of newspapers persistent enquiries about the fight against corruption and maladministration at the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

For two weeks in a row now your newspaper group is pursuing the Minister and the Administrator in an attempt to divert their attention toward taking appropriate actions in ensuring that these who are implicated are brought to book. The newspaper is perpetually sending questions that come from unnamed and faceless sources, who makes spurious allegations about the Minister and the Administrator.

This follows the NSFAS having initiated some disciplinary processes to some
employees following the discovery of some wrongdoing and financial misconduct by these employees. The work of NSFAS Administrator to deal with reported acts of corruption, maladministration and incompetence is well documented in the 2018/19 audit outcomes and the Annual Report in which we have referred you previously to familiarise yourself with its content.

The Minister wishes to strongly caution the Independent Group of Newspapers to be careful that it is not being used, wittingly or unwittingly, by a fightback campaign from those who have been found out and exposed for fraud and corruption by the NSFAS Administrator. The Minister hopes that the newspaper group is learning appropriate lessons and caution from what seems to be a desperate strategy by elements of state capture to try and discredit those who have exposed corruption in the state.

We have stated it on recording even in our previous responses to the newspaper that Minister Nzimande does not run the day-to-day activities, nor has a direct influence into its Human Resources sourcing decisions of NSFAS. Therefore, the Minister does not deal with the recruitment or sourcing of personnel for NSFAS or any of the entities falling under his Ministry. Currently, NSFAS is managed, governed and administered by a capable Administrator, Dr Randall Caroliseen who makes such decisions without any undue influence of the Minister.

Again as said publicly, Minister Nzimande is pleased with the progress reported by the Administrator in dealing with gross looting and curbing acts of corruption and maladministration at the NSFAS, thereby setting NSFAS in its correct trajectory to granting bursaries to the children of the poor and the working-class families in our country.

Minister Nzimande and the Administrator remain steadfast to fight all forms of corruption and maladministration as perpetuated by some of the implicated employees who are currently under disciplinary hearings and others who are still been investigated. Investigations will still continue to unravel any other acts that might have been identified to undermine NSFAS.

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