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By Devina Haripersad

Senior Business/Finance journalist


‘My conscience is clear, I have nothing to hide’ – Nzimande hits back at Nsfas corruption allegations

Nzimande said the allegations levelled against him by Outa were nothing but part of a “malicious fightback campaign”.


The Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande,  who has been accused of siphoning millions of rands from corrupt National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) dealings has hit back against the allegations saying that the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) was just out to destroy his good name.

“I wish to once again assure the South African public that as Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation,  I have never used any money from any of my department’s entities for the purpose of funding the South African Communist Party as was maliciously and falsely suggested in the Outa report.

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“Nor have I received any kickbacks from any of the service providers to Nsfas or any of the other entities falling under my department,” he said.

Baseless

Nzimande said he thereby wished to dismiss the “baseless insinuation by Outa, some organisations as well as some sectors of the media”.

He said all of the accusations stemmed from what he called “a malicious fight-back campaign”.

He explained that because of his efforts to fight corruption within the organisation, he was now being set-up and framed as a perpetrator of the very crime he fought.

Nzimande said he felt that Outa was opportunistically colluding with the people they were once investigating.

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Nothing to hide

“My conscience is clear and I have nothing to hide,” he told the media.

The minister said he reserved his rights to take the necessary legal action.

Outa released voice recordings of two meetings between National Student Financial Aid Scheme board chair, Ernest Khosa, and a representative of a service provider.

It exposed the purported payment of millions of rands in kickbacks to Nzimande and Khosa by service providers, including a minimum of R1 million to the SA Communist Party (SACP), in exchange for tenders.

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