“The fact of the matter is that the NSFAS discovered there are students who lied about their family income. We must nail them, just as the Zondo commission is nailing people, just like the NPA [National Prosecuting Authority] and just like the Hawks.”
Nzimande said the government can’t want to appear to be revolutionary by tolerating corruption in sectors.
“As a caring government, we said it may be possible that among these students, there are those whose circumstances have changed, either because of Covid-19 or for other reasons,” said Nzimande.
He said defunded students were allowed to appeal the decision to have funding restored. The students were given 14 days from the date of issue to petition the decision by submitting proof of family income or change of income to NSFAS for review.
“We can’t say we are fighting corruption in the whole of society except where students are involved. We’re going to have problems,” said Nzimande.
He said if the government was going to tolerate corruption from students, then Walter Sisulu University student Sibongile Mani, who received R14m from NSFAS due to a system error in 2017, should have been left alone “in the interest of so-called revolutionary solidarity”.
“I am not going to be apologetic. There are many poor children who come from parents who have nothing, who are very bright and who might not have benefited from NSFAS because there are students who come from better families who are smart enough to cheat the system.”