The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has remained mum over this week’s urgent court application brought against it by axed CEO Andile Nongogo.
The axed CEO approached the Labour Court in Braamfontein in a bid to get his job back following his axing last week.
Nongogo alleges that he was fired without having undergone a disciplinary process which is why he is challenging his unilateral dismissal.
Last Tuesday, the NSFAS board fired Nongogo with immediate effect on the grounds of a breach of policies and trust.
Since his axing, there have been accusations and counter-accusations between Nongogo and board chairperson Ernest Khosa, following a damning forensic report which recently implicated Nongogo in alleged corruption, fraud and illegal tender dealing.
Nongogo, the former CEO of the SSETA (Services Sector Education and Training Authority), was said to be implicated in alleged tender irregularities involving R37 million of public funds.
Last week, Khosa told the media that an investigation found Nongogo actively participated in the evaluation of the bids and the appointment of four direct payment service providers.
According to media reports, a recent probe revealed that Nongogo also hand-picked four firms to pay around 1.1 million students their R1 650 monthly allowances directly and not through tertiary institutions, which had been the previous payment method.
In his court papers filed on Monday, Nongogo said his employment was terminated in breach of his contract, and as a result, he wants to be reinstated to his position.
“Reinstatement is the only remedy that would ensure that the material provisions of my employment contract are honoured,” he said.
Nongogo indicated that this lack of regard for the rules was in breach of his employment contract and “an affront to the rule of law and public policy”.
“This, in turn, impugns legal certainty. Unlawfulness of this nature should not be countenanced,” said Nongogo.
“The unlawfulness becomes even more egregious when considering that the decision was taken by a board of a public entity.”
This week, DA spokesperson on higher education Chantel King, said that while the DA welcomed the NSFAS board’s decision to fire Nongogo, it was clear that much “opacity remains regarding the dodgy awarding of the contracts to four direct payment service providers”.
The party called on the Minister of Higher Education, Dr Blade Nzimande, to investigate the incidents at NSFAS.