The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) recovered National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) money that was spent irregularly for the first time since it signed Proclamation R88 on 26 August 2022.
Through the Proclamation, President Cyril Ramaphosa authorised the SIU to investigate allegations of corruption and maladministration related to NSFAS and to recover any money lost by the State through corruption and negligence.
NORTHLINK COLLEGE RETURNS MONEY
The SIU spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago, said Northlink College, which is a technical and vocational education and training (TVET) college in Bellville, Cape Town, informed the Unit that it had received over R33 million from NSFAS that was not allocated to students between 2017 and 2021.
The college made this admission after the Proclamation was signed and said it invested the funds without permission.
“The TVET college stated to the SIU that it is fully aware that the funds should have been returned to the NSFAS, but Northlink College has failed to do so, and instead decided to invest the funds and would return the funds on request from NSFAS,” said Kganyago.
The SIU is currently working out how much interest was accrued by the investment over time and this will have to be paid into the Unit’s trust account.
The Unit said its NSFAS investigations focus on two parts – the first looks into the management of the financial aid scheme’s finances and the second part examines the allocation of loans, bursaries and other funds payable to students in terms of the NSFAS Act of 1999.
Kganyago said the SIU is empowered to institute civil action in the country’s High Courts or it can call a Special Tribunal in its name to correct any wrongdoing uncovered during investigations.
“In line with the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act 74 of 1996, the SIU will refer any evidence pointing to criminal conduct it uncovers to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for further action,” said the SIU spokesperson.
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