The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) Board will investigate corruption allegations levelled against Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Andile Nongogo. The corruption allegations against Nongogo relate to their previous work with Services SETA (SSETA) and have raised concerns about potential improper practices in the awarding of bids for the direct payment of allowances from NSFAS.
"The allegations relate to his work with the Services SETA and how this may relate to unacceptable conduct in the awarding of bids at NSFAS. Whilst the Board recognises that, in the main, the allegations stem from activities in another organisation, it views them in a very serious light," read a statement released by NSFAS.
NSFAS says the investigation does not imply that the CEO is guilty but rather an objective effort to determine the veracity of the allegations levelled against Nongogo.
NSFAS runs close to 50-billion-rand budget which services young people from poor and working-class backgrounds. This is no small task, as it has an impact on skill development and consequently the economic development of our nation. The Board believes that in executing this responsibility, public trust is of paramount importance.
Ernest Khosa, NSFAS Board Chair says NSFAS are committed to transformation and transparent governance at NSFAS. They assured members of the public that any activities conflicting with the institution's mission of supporting economically disadvantaged students would be addressed resolutely.
The Board commits itself to transformation and clean governance at NSFAS and will ensure that any activities that defeat the purpose of serving students from poor and working-class backgrounds are addressed decisively
When the allegations were first levelled against Nongogo, NSFAS proclaimed their disappointment that members of the media are attempting to associate these offences that occurred during Nongogo’s time as the head of SSETA with NSFAS.
CEO Responds To Corruption Allegations
In a recent press briefing, Nongogo suggested that he was innocent amid the allegations levelled against him. However, the CEO was reluctant to go into further detail.
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Nongogo said it was unfortunate that the questions regarding this work were asked during a NSFAS briefing. They added that the SSETA routinely received clean and unqualified audits whilst they were employed at the SETA.
When I was at the employer, I acted on behalf of the employer, however, the only thing I would like to say is that during my tenure at the services SETA, either as the CFO or CEO, the services SETA continued to get what we call clean and unqualified audits and therefore any assertions that are in the public domain I actually choose not to respond to it
OUTA CEO Wayne Duvenage believes that Nongogo should have been suspended by NSFAS instead of being placed on special leave. They add the NSFAS’ investigation of the Nonogogo must be swift and disciplinary action must be taken.
We believe there is sufficient evidence, not only to be suspended, but they should lay charges against him.
In June 2023, The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) laid a criminal complaint of corruption against Nongogo, one of his former colleagues at the Services SETA and two Services SETA service providers.
The criminal complaints relate to the over-inflation of a specific tender, awarded to Five Star on 22 August 2016. It is alleged that Five Star over-inflated their bid for the branding of a tender box by a whopping 8 000%, or at least R292 000. OUTA’s investigation detailed a pattern of irregularities in the contract award process and raised questions about Nongogo’s involvement.