Bernadette Wicks11 January 2024 | 7:43

NSFAS board chair claims threats made against his life amid graft allegations

The funding scheme’s board chairperson, Ernest Khosa, on Wednesday took a leave of absence, pending a probe into the allegations made against him, the Higher Education Minister and the SACP.

NSFAS board chair claims threats made against his life amid graft allegations

The NSFAS board chairperson, Ernest Khosa. Picture: @myNSFAS/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The board chairperson for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), Ernest Khosa, has raised concern around what he says are threats against his life.

This is on the back of the graft allegations that are levelled against him.

Last week, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse released audio recordings and an investigative report implicating Khosa, together with Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande, and his party, the South African Communist Party in an alleged kickback scandal involving the service providers appointed to run the controversial new direct payment system.

READ: NSFAS corruption: OUTA to escalate new allegations to Ramaphosa, SARS, SIU & PP

On Wednesday night, NSFAS announced he took a leave of absence, pending an investigation into the explosive claims that the funding scheme, the minister, and Khosa have since denied.

NSFAS spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi said Khosa tabled his leave of absence at a meeting on Wednesday during which he also raised his concerns around the alleged threats.

“The chairperson reiterated to the board that he had never received any financial gratification for his personal use or facilitated any for the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation or the South African Communist Party. The board chairperson also raised concerns about threats that have been made against his life and that of his family.”

Mnisi said the board described Khosa’s decision to take a leave of absence as “honourable, brave, and responsible”.

“[The board] hails his decision as a responsible and conscious step to advance good corporate governance, transparency, and accountability.

“The board would like to emphasise that this decision should not be interpreted as an admission of guilt on the part of the chairperson.”