DA prepares criminal charges against Minister Blade Nzimande over NSFAS bribery claims

Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Blade Nzimande. | Chris Collingridge

Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Blade Nzimande. | Chris Collingridge

Published Jan 9, 2024


The DA will be laying criminal charges against Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Dr Blade Nzimande over the alleged National Student Financial Aid Scheme bribery claims as alleged by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa).

On Monday, Nzimande dismissed allegations against himself and NSFAS board chairperson Ernest Khosa, saying they were merely a “nefarious” attempt to discredit him.

During a live broadcast on Monday, DA leader John Steenhuisen vowed to purse the matter through the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and criminally, as well as by mobilising student organisations and movements in order to hold Nzimande accountable.

“The DA, including through our student organisation, will initiate mass mobilisation campaigns at campuses across the country to force (Cyril) Ramaphosa to fire Nzimande.

“Finally, we are preparing criminal charges against Nzimande and briefing our legal team to declare the NSFAS board delinquent over the corrupt and irrational direct payment and accommodation tenders.

“This legal action is in keeping with the findings of the State Capture Commission, which recommended that it should become standard practice to declare board members involved in capture and corruption as delinquent,” Steenhuisen said during his speech.

During a media briefing addressing the allegations calls for him to resign, Nzimande said he would not resign after the civic group, Outa, accused him and Khosa of allegedly receiving millions of rand in kickbacks from service providers.

“I would like to assure the republic that as the minister of higher education, science and innovation, I have never used any money from any of my departments’ entities for the purpose of funding the South African Communist Party (SACP).

“Nor have I received any personal kickbacks from NSFAS or its entities,” Nzimande said.

He accused Outa of lying about the voice on the leaked recording being his.

“What I would like to take exception to is that people just come out with allegations. Nefarious allegations. I mean, if you look at their statement, it is worse that samp. It is mixing all sorts of things. Services, Seta, this and that just to try rubbish my own image. Now, I have no voice that is mine in these recordings that are being played around. I was not recorded this time around,” he said.

Outa recently said that it had released voice recordings of two meetings between Khosa and a representative of a service provider, which revealed how service providers allegedly paid millions of rand in kickbacks to Nzimande and Khosa and at least R1 million to the SACP.

The Star

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