The Hawks on Thursday drew first blood in the fight against corruption in the disbursement of funds by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas).
The unit conducted a search and seizure operation at Fort Hare University in East London.
Although not related, this comes after acting Public Protector (PP) Kholeka Gcaleka last week announced there were ongoing investigations into R7 billion in irregular expenditure by Nsfas.
Hawks Eastern Cape spokesperson Captain Yolisa Mgolodela said the search and seizure operation related to allegations of fraud in Nsfas as well as procurement fraud.
“The serious corruption investigation team of the Hawks in East London conducted a search and seizure operation at Fort Hare branches in Alice, Bisho and East London,” Mgolodela said.
“The operation is a means of collecting evidence for investigation purposes in alleged fraudulent procurement and Nsfas-related fraud activities at Fort Hare University. No arrests have been effected the investigations are still ongoing.”
Mgolodela said the unit had been alerted by whistleblowers.
According to the PP’S office, there were eight complaints concerning Nsfas in the year 2020.
The scheme is alleged to have failed to assist students, lacked the ability to raise funds and recover loans, lacked the ability to disburse the correct amounts of money and delayed disbursements to students.
Its senior managers lacked formal qualifications, engaged in unscrupulous procurement and lacked internal audit independence among other things, the whistleblowers claimed.
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