Over the past recent days, it has become public knowledge the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is currently under investigation for corruption by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU). The investigation was initiated through a process instituted by the president.
Allegations of corruption and maladministration at the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) have surfaced, and an investigation into the bursary has been authorised by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
This comes after the President issued a declaration directing the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to look into claims of fraud and corruption in the bursary scheme. The president did this to strengthen the country’s defence against fraud and corruption and to create the National Corruption Council.
“I hereby, under section 2(1) of the Act, refer the matters mentioned in the Schedule, in respect of the NSFAS, for the investigation to the Special Investigating Unit established by Proclamation No. R. 118 of 31 July 2001”
The president’s proclamation aims to use legislation to establish a framework through which the findings of the probe will be used to take legal and disciplinary measures against those found to have committed the above-mentioned offences within NSFAS.
The alleged accusation being probed by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) against NSFAS is outlined as listed below according to the president’s declaration.
- Serious maladministration in connection with the affairs of the NSFAS;
- Improper or unlawful conduct by the employees or officials of the NSFAS;
- unlawful appropriation or expenditure of public money or property;
- unlawful, irregular or unapproved acquisitive act, transaction, measure or practice having a bearing upon State property;
- intentional or negligent loss of public money or damage to public property;
- offence referred to in Parts 1 to 4, or sections 17, 20 or 21 (in so far as it relates to the aforementioned offences) of Chapter 2 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, 2004 (Act No. 12 of 2004), and which offences were committed in connection with the affairs of the NSFAS
- Unlawful or improper conduct by any person, which has caused or may cause serious harm to the interests of the public or any category thereof,
This also means reviewing the full transaction history for the bursary scheme from 1 April 2016 until 26 August 2022, on Friday. Additionally, all loans and bursaries will be investigated, along with any funding that might have been given in place of any funds that might be missing.
The SIU will also look into any possible official collusion with the entities in question, as well as identify if they were TVET colleges, major universities, or residential organisations.