Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande File picture: Thobile Mathonsi/ANA Pictures
Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande File picture: Thobile Mathonsi/ANA Pictures

Nzimande condemns R14.1m student payment 'slip-up'

By African News Agency Time of article published Aug 31, 2017

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Higher  Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande has condemned the incorrect payment of

R14.1 million into the account of a Walter Sisulu University (WSU) student, whose studies were being financed by

government.

“This debacle is wholly unacceptable and serious action should be taken against all those responsible, as soon as all the facts of the matter are established. 

"In the light of this, I have instructed National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), supported by officials from the department, to urgently get to the bottom of the matter, with a view of ensuring that wherever the problems may lie, this will never be repeated again,” said Nzimande.

The payment was reportedly made in June into the student's account, apparently by the NSFAS. The student alleges that she reported the transaction and was not assisted.

She spent about R800 000 of the funds before it was noticed earlier this month.

The department said that the error, allegedly by a service provider at the university, occurred during a payment run to 3 500 students at the institution, who are supported by the NSFAS. The “slip-up” was evidently noticed after a receipt of a high figure was posted by the friend of the student.

Nzimande said that such debacles posed a grave danger to the credibility of the country's education system.“We simply cannot afford these kinds of blunders involving taxpayers’ money, whether they occur wittingly or unwittingly. 

This is why I am calling for a thorough investigation to establish the facts so that there is consequence management for those found responsible."

The department said that the chief executive of IntelliMali, Michael Ansell, the service provider who managed the allocation of funds at WSU, had confirmed that they were taking legal action against the student. 

The department said this wasn't enough and that the firm must also deal with employees responsible.

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