Three employees from NSFAS were arrested on allegations of fraud at the Wynberg Office on Wednesday. File picture.

Cape Town - Three employees from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) were arrested on allegations of fraud at the Wynberg Office on Wednesday.

NSFAS Executive Administrator, Dr Randall Carolissen said the employees were all arrested on allegations of fraud relating to diverting student allowances to their personal accounts.

Carolissen said NSFAS is working with the authorities, who are investigating the matter. 

"Since NSFAS was put under administration in August last year, as part of his Term of Reference the administrator instituted a number of forensic investigations relating to the general disbursement of student funds, student allowance, leakage of sensitive and confidential information and human resources related issues."

Carolissen said it has come to the attention of NSFAS that there are people who are misrepresenting themselves and "posing as NSFAS officials soliciting applicants to pay a sum of money in order to have their application processed or have access to application forms".

He said NSFAS would like to caution all students applying for the 2020 funding to be careful in managing their accounts. "We want to stress that NSFAS applications are free".

He said the best way to apply for NSFAS funding is through a smartphone. "If you are not able to apply or do not have a smartphone, you are safe to approach the National Youth Development Agency office, or the Vodacom Teacher Training and Development Centre for assistance".

Carolissen said, added and said they have their people stationed at those ports to help with the applications. "We are also going out into rural areas, in partnerships with various provincial departments of education".

He said NSFAS has set up a dedicated independent fraud hotline called Vuvuzela. Through the hotline, whistle blowers can report abuse, fraud, wastage and other cases of misconduct to NSFAS with comfort and confidence.

"We appeal to students, applicants, employees and community members to report any suspicious activity promptly on fraud hotline. All calls are kept strictly confidential and callers may remain anonymous," Carolissen said, to report any fraud, call Toll-free number 0860 247 653, SMS 'Call-back' to 30916, or email [email protected]

[email protected]

Cape Argus