Call for pay­ment sys­tem re­view

The New Age (Free State) - - NEWS - DENINS CRUYWAGEN

THE chair­per­son of Par­lia­ment’s higher ed­u­ca­tion com­mit­tee has called on all in­sti­tu­tions in­volved in pay­ing a stu­dent R14m to re­view the en­tire pay­ment sys­tem.

Con­nie Septem­ber said the in­sti­tu­tions must en­sure they meet the high­est eth­i­cal stan­dards and ac­count­abil­ity when han­dling pub­lic fi­nances.

Septem­ber made this call af­ter In­tel­li­mali, the Na­tional Stu­dent Fi­nan­cial Aid Scheme, Wal­ter Sisulu Univer­sity and the Department of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing briefed the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee on how the money was er­ro­neously paid to Si­bongile Mani.

“We need to know if this money de­rives from money ap­pro­pri­ated by Par­lia­ment and not raised pri­vately. If this is the un­der­stand­ing, we need to know what the Pub­lic Fi­nance Man­age­ment Act says about pub­lic fi­nances,” Septem­ber said.

The port­fo­lio com­mit­tee said Mani should not be the only per­son held to ac­count for the trans­gres­sion.

“The en­ti­ties are all talk­ing about loop­holes in the sys­tem. You need to meet with the busi­ness com­mu­nity and in­form them they can­not be ac­ces­sories to fraud­u­lent ac­tiv­i­ties. It is still not clear how mer­chants al­lowed an In­telli card, that does not have cash, for pur­chases amount­ing to more than R800 000,” Septem­ber said.

DA mem­ber of Par­lia­ment and a mem­ber of the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee Belinda Boz­zoli said it was re­vealed at Wed­nes­day’s meet­ing that Mani must have col­luded with ven­dors, bu­reau­cratic of­fi­cials and oth­ers to re­ceive the funds and then go on a spend­ing spree in places like East London, Ge­orge, Queen­stown and Cen­tu­rion.

“It is vi­tal the planned In­tel­li­mali foren­sic in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­clude an ex­am­i­na­tion of the role of both the univer­sity and In­tel­li­mali of­fi­cials to dis­cover how the ini­tial trans­fer oc­curred, par­tic­u­larly given that In­tel­li­mali’s com­puter records at the time showed a trans­fer of only R1400 and how the stu­dent was able to spend money on items not on the ap­proved list?”

Bo­zolli said any per­son found to have been col­lab­o­ra­tors in the ir­reg­u­lar ac­qui­si­tion and spend­ing, in­clud­ing ven­dors, should be ex­posed and pun­ished.

“Black­list­ing of ven­dors who, in this and other cases, may be as­sist­ing stu­dents to abuse their bur­sary funds is

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