Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane
The Public Protector South Africa
Private Bag X677
Dear Advocate Mkhwebane
COMPLAINT: CAPTURING OF THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE NATIONAL STUDENT FINANCIAL AID SCHEME – ALLEGED NEPOTISM AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS, STAFF VICTIMISATION AND PURGE, CORRUPTION AND MALADMINISTRATION
As you might be aware, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) was placed under administration by former Minister of Higher Education and Training Naledi Pandor after its failure to pay out bursaries had led to student protests.
I have been approached by concerned NSFAS employees for assistance, and the seriousness of the allegations that are being made lead me to think that this process has been “captured”.
There are allegations of nepotism, victimisation and purging of staff, racism, corruption, general maladministration, mismanagement by Dr Randall Carolissen (NSFAS Administrator) in particular, as well as a general collapse of corporate governance at NSFAS.
Worst of all is the allegation that the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Dr Blade Nzimande (who is supposed to oversee this process and is the custodian of good governance) is aware of some of these issues and are seemingly ignoring them and worse still, is involved in nepotism with the appointment of those loyal to him to key NSFAS (and other) positions.
I hereby lodge a complaint in terms of Section 6(1) (A) of the Public Protector Act, 1994 and request you to investigate these allegations.
To assist you at this point in time, please find attached to this email:
1. Annexure A (98KB) – a document that details various allegations of poor performance, unscrupulous procurement, compromised internal auditing, failures of NSFAS’s IT system, maladministration, racism and compromised oversight.
2. Annexure B (85KB) – a list of key questions regarding allegations against Dr Carolissen in terms of his role in various matters, such as nepotism and maladministration (amongst others, how much of the cumulative irregular expenditure of R7.5 billion NSFAS declared in the 2018/19 financial year was spent under his watch?).
3. Annexure C – a list of staffers and former staffers who have allegedly been victimised, targeted and or purged by Dr Carolissen (not posted due to sensitivity of the information).
4. Annexure D1 and D2 – list of persons allegedly appointed by virtue of their links to Dr Carolissen and other key players. (not posted due to sensitivity of the information)
5. Annexures E and F – allegations around a list of key persons appointed at NSFAS, and other bodies, by virtue of their personal links to Minister Nzimande. (not posted due to sensitivity of the information)
I have further and more detailed information in my possession, which I am more than willing to share should you decide to investigate, as it is of paramount importance (at this stage) to protect the identities of the whistle-blowers to avoid further victimisation.
I am at your disposal and look forward to engaging with you.
Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP
President of the United Democratic Movement