File Image: IOL
File Image: IOL

Higher education committee slams 'dubious' R14m #NSFAS payment

By Khanyisile Ngcobo Time of article published Aug 31, 2017

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Johannesburg - Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training has slammed the R14 million accidentally paid into a Walter Sisulu University student's account as "dubious" and "unacceptable".

This follows reports on Wednesday that a WSU student was living lavishly after accidentally receiving R14 million into her IntelliCard account.

The mix-up went virtually undetected for five months until social media posts brought the matter to light, prompting the university to investigate the matter. 

It then emerged that the student spent close to R1 million before the error was picked up and the card blocked by the institution. 

The university has since confirmed that the student will be liable to repay the amount spent. She is also facing fraud charges.

Committee chairperson Connie September in a statement said the committee deserves to be taken into confidence about the erroneous payment made to the student. 

ALSO READ: #NSFAS R14m saga: 'I reported the matter to authorities'

“It can only serve to benefit members of the committee to be brought up to speed on how such a dubious act occurred and why it took this long to be identified. The committee wants to know the number of students who could have benefitted from this money.

“This is unacceptable that such a grave mistake as this one could occur undetected on money appropriated by Parliament, and disbursed by various entities including the Department right down to the level of ending up in a private account.”

September also said that while the committee accepted that the accidental payment was not NSFAS' fault , companies the student funding scheme uses should "be of unquestionable capacity with efficiency all round".

Furthermore, she lamented the fact that the student did not query the excessive payment made into her account. 

September welcomed the announcement that steps were underway to recover the money and added that the committee "is keen to hear from the Department and NSFAS on the matter. 

"The company may as well be required to come and appear before the committee," she said.


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