Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande says he hopes to get the forensic report into the investigation on the R5 billion that was not properly accounted for at the National Skills Fund (NSF) by the end of next month.
Nzimande told Parliament that the forensic investigation was at an advanced stage and he should get the report in the coming weeks. The investigation had started after the Auditor-General had found that the funds had not been properly accounted for. Nzimande told MPs there were many issues that were being looked at at the NSF.
He said the forensic investigation had taken place after he had appointed a private forensic investigator to probe the NSF.
By the time Scopa said ‘why don’t you ask the SIU’, I am not against working with the SIU, but I had already contracted a private forensic investigator to do the work. I wasn’t running away from the SIU as some people often claim. I had already signed an agreement,” said Nzimande.
He said he would be willing to work with the SIU if there was anything from the probe that would require further action by the SIU.
He said he had also appointed a ministerial task team to look at the functionality of the NSF.
I would like to say that I appointed the ministerial task team to look at the functionality and operating model of the NSF because I was concerned before I even started the forensic that there are serious capacity issues and operational deficiencies in the manner in which the NSF is operating. That is underlined by the disclaimer that they actually got,” he said.
He said the ministerial task team gave him an interim report two weeks ago on progress they had made. He said the final report would have to look at the operations, strengths and weaknesses of the NSF. These were the issues they needed to address.
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