Tebogo Msimanga |
The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Blade Nzimande, dismisses claims by the Director General (DG) of the Department of Higher Education and Training, Gwebinkundla Qonde, that the Minister wanted him out of the department since 2019. Qonde was suspended last week.
Nzimande said the decision to place Qonde under precautionary suspension emanates from an adverse audit report by the Auditor-General’s of South Africa (AGSA). “The AGSA found that much of a total amount of just under R5 billion could not be properly accounted for over two financial years by the National Skills Fund (NSF).”
He said these are indeed huge sums of money that the AGSA found could not have been properly accounted for.
“Whilst Qonde has not as yet been found guilty, a precautionary suspension is necessary so that a comprehensive forensic investigation into the NSF can be done. The need for such an investigation has also been called for by the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA)”.Explained the Minister.