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Outa Applauds NSFAS CEO’s Leave of Absence Amidst Allegations

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Outa Applauds NSFAS CEO's Leave of Absence Amidst Allegations

Outa Applauds NSFAS CEO’s Leave of Absence Amidst Allegations.The Organization Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has expressed its approval following the announcement made by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) board. The board has decided to place the CEO of the scheme, Andile Nongogo, on a leave of absence.

Outa Applauds NSFAS CEO’s Leave of Absence Amidst Allegations

This move comes in response to allegations of inappropriate conduct in the awarding of tenders at NSFAS, as well as other irregularities linked to Nongogo’s tenure at the Services Sector Education and Training Authority (Seta)

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Prompt Investigation and Corrective Measures Advocated

Outa has emphasized the necessity of expediting the investigation into Nongogo’s involvement. The organization has called upon the board to take swift corrective action regarding the contracts held with service providers. This appeal for action stems from Outa’s efforts, which commenced in September 2022 when the organization first started uncovering irregularities. Despite these revelations, a request for additional information from NSFAS under the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) was denied in October of the same year.

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Unveiling Disturbing Findings

In February 2023, Outa published a comprehensive report detailing its findings. The report revealed that the four companies awarded tenders to implement the new direct payment system were ill-equipped for the task. Moreover, these companies were not registered as financial service providers, with two of them lacking VAT vendor registration.

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One of the service providers even had connections to questionable tenders awarded by the Services Seta during Nongogo’s time as CEO there—an issue previously exposed by Outa.

Urgent Calls for Accountability

Rudie Heyneke, Outa’s head of investigations, highlighted the gravity of the allegations. Heyneke urged for prompt disciplinary hearings after a thorough assessment of Outa’s reports and other available information.

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He lamented the wastage of public resources due to such situations, underscoring the importance of addressing the concerns of civil society and those directly affected by poor governmental decisions. Heyneke stressed that the actions of higher education institution executives should remain above suspicion due to their significant impact on the youth and the nation’s future.

Demand for Enhanced Oversight

Outa’s CEO, Wayne Duvenage, emphasized the urgency of stronger oversight over procurement processes. Duvenage pointed out that officials with qualifications and experience akin to Andile Nongogo’s should possess a solid understanding of the Public Finance Management Act. He urged severe action against those who display gross negligence of fiduciary duties and misuse public funds. Duvenage called upon Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande and the NSFAS board to collaborate with Outa in combatting corruption within the higher education sector.

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Outa’s Collaboration with Investigative Bodies

It’s noteworthy that the Special Investigating Unit is currently conducting an inquiry into NSFAS. In this context, Outa has shared its investigation reports with the unit to aid in the comprehensive examination of the matter.

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