A number of students at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) have been left devastated after allegedly being robbed of their NSFAS allowances.
They say this scam was undertaken by someone who works in the finance department of the institution and changed their banking details on the student portal, leading to their allowances disappearing.
A third year chemical engineering student who is a victim, Sakhile Tembe said: “Someone used my ID number to open an account on Tymebank. I don't know where they got my personal details. After that they then changed my banking details that I use for my NSFAS allowance on the student portal and that led to my NSFAS allowance disappearing.
He said he called Tymebank about this situation and the bank advised to write an affidavit and email it so that the bank could close the account.
“I also reported the matter to the finance department at school. They said my first allowance which is R1500 was paid to that account and they said there's nothing they can do to help me. They said I have to write an email to the ITS department,” said Tembe.
The Student Representative Council confirmed that a number of students depending on these allowances to survive had fallen victim to this scam which has been happening since last year.
EFF Student Command chairperson Nkululeko Mzobe said the matter had been reported to the DUT management.
“They started an investigation, however the person who was investigating this matter got suspended,“ said Mzobe.
When IOL contacted the DUT management, chief information officer Dr Progress Mtshali confirmed that the institution had received reports and grievances from affected students. He added that DUT was currently not in a position to divulge any further information to the media.
“The Durban University of Technology had received grievances and reports from a group of students on the aforementioned incident. Upon being contacted by the aggrieved students, the university conducted and concluded an internal investigation.
“The group of students allegedly affected by this particular incident were notified of the outcome of the institution's findings from the investigation,” said Mtshali.