The chairperson of National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), Ernest Khosa, has slammed suspended CEO Andile Nongogo for spreading lies about him.
According to a weekend article, Nongogo is alleged to have said his suspension is linked to lucrative agreements between companies that he claims were hand-picked by senior government officials and Khosa.
The accusations and counter-accusations stem from a damning forensic report which recently implicated Nongogo in alleged corruption, fraud and illegal tender dealing.
Nongogo, who is the former CEO of the SSETA (Services Sector Education and Training Authority), is implicated in alleged tender irregularities involving R37 million of public funds.
In August, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) called for a speedy probe against Nongogo after it started exposing the irregularities in September 2022.
The board of the national bursary scheme has now asked Nongongo to provide reasons why he should not be fired after an investigation report by Werkmans Attorneys confirmed Nongogo had a relationship with one of the companies appointed for the new NSFAS direct payment system.
Nongogo was recently placed on special leave after students from various universities protested against the new direct banking system outside the higher education department offices and Parliament.
Khosa, who addressed a media briefing on Wednesday, added that Nongogo was placed on special leave to allow investigations against him to be carried out without interference.
Reacting to the article yesterday, Khosa said he was disappointed by Nongogo’s accusations.
“If it is indeed true that it comes from him, I am utterly disappointed. The bottom line is that there are serious findings and recommendations against him which cannot be wished away by involving distant distractions,” Khosa said.
The crisis at NSFAS emanate from an investigation carried out (by) Outa and confirmed by Werksman Attorneys and advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi SC, that found that Nongogo actively participated in the presentation to the Bid Evaluation Committee (BEC) of proposals by service providers.
The report also stated that Nongogo illegally appointed a technical advisor to assist the BEC.
“This appointment was inherently incorrect, as the 2021 SCM (Supply Chain Management) Policy does not provide for the appointment of an expert to the BEC,” it said.
The report confirmed that he had relations with Coinvest and eZaga Holdings, the companies that scored lucrative contracts with the funding scheme.
The board of the national bursary scheme has also asked Nongongo to provide reasons why he should not be fired after an investigation report by Werkmans Attorneys confirmed that he had a relationship with one of the companies that have been appointed for the new NSFAS direct payment system.
On Thursday, Nongogo was given until end of business on Friday to present the NSFAS board with strong arguments for why he should keep his job.
The reported also found that Nongogo was “a law unto himself” and should be axed “for breach of trust”.