Allegations Against NSFAS CEO
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) frequently makes headlines, and typically for all the wrong reasons. This time it is the NSFAS CEO, Andile Nongogo, that may be facing criminal charges relating to the over-inflation of a tender box provided by Five Star back in 2016.
Nongogo is not the only one who may be placed under investigation following these claims, as Duduzile Mwelase, senior manager at the Services Sector Education and Training Authority (SSETA), and Anania Baloyi and Ngwenya Baloyi, both from Five Stars Communications, have also been accused of fraud and corruption.
Nongogo was the former CEO of SSETA during the time of this alleged fraud and corruption.
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) has called for an investigation into the four individuals for their involvement, and Nongogo and Mwalase are also to be investigated for contravening the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).
This tender was awarded to Five Star back in August 2016, who allegedly over-inflated their bid on the branding of a tender box by 8 000%, which is roughly R292 000. The total cost of the quote came to an outrageous R302,010.
The tender was awarded for a period lasting 19 months from August 2016 until 31 March 2018, for the design, development and supply of branded promotional items required by SSETA.
Rudie Heineken, the portfolio manager at OUTA, revealed that Five Star supplied numerous branded items and other services to SSETA and received R36,962 million for their services.
This tender box was recorded in the asset register at SSETA for only R9 690. This tender box is a simple wooden cabinet with the SSETA logo on it.
Mwalase is the one who accepted the delivery of the branded box which Nongogo then authorised payment of the invoice and on 1 March 2023 Five Star was paid R302 010 as stated on the invoice. This invoice had Nongogo’s signature on it.
Heineken believes that the four individuals who were involved in approving the quotes and payments were complicit in the misappropriation of these public funds.
Companies who charged these exorbitant prices and public officials who approved payment of inflated tenders, should all be held to account for the abuse of taxpayers’ money.
Additionally, OUTA calls for suppliers to be listed on National Treasury’s restricted suppliers’ database so that they will be prevented from conducting business with any state entities.
NSFAS Responds To The Situation
In a media statement published on Twitter, NSFAS assures the public that these alleged transgressions "have nothing to do with Nongogo's current responsibilities and mandate at NSFAS."
NSFAS expresses disappointment that the media has attempted to link these crimes to NSFAS, when this claims have to do with Nongogo's employment by SSETA.
The scheme also acknowledges that since it has adopted new policies relating to the payment of allowances and student accommodation, the CEO has been the victim of multiple attacks via short messaging services. These attacks are being dealt with through security structures.