Blade Nzimande’s attempt to seal corrupt activity condemned – EFF

Fighters say minister tried to coerce SCOPA to seal report, essentially turning Parliament into a secretive institution

EFF condemns Blade Nzimande’s attempt to seal corrupt activity at the National Skills Fund in Parliament

27 September 2022

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) condemns the dodgy attempts by Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande, to make Parliament complicit in the sealing of a report into corrupt activity at the National Skills Fund.

Nzimande, in a haphazard and desperate manner attempted to coerce the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) into sealing and making confidential a report into corrupt activity at the National Skills Fund, essentially turning Parliament into a secretive institution that is not transparent to the public.

The request by Nzimande comes as no surprise, because there are allegations that recipients of defrauded funds are pseudo service providers to the National Skills Fund, who have handsomely donated to the SACP. Allegations are that the flow of funds are for the upkeep of SACP officials including Nzimande himself. The attempted sealing of the investigative report, is an attempt to evade scrutiny of abuse of public funds that

were used to bankroll the SACP and its officials.

There have been countless reports of misuse of public funds at the National Skills Fund and it was SCOPA which sanctioned an investigation into the maladministration at the institution. The ambush by Nzimande, who requested the classification of a report they shared in the last minute, is thuggery at best.

Furthermore, in a display of cowardice, Nzimande did not even bother to attend the sitting of SCOPA, but sent his request to hide corruption in the darkness of the night, requesting that the report be made confidential, on a flimsy logic that the report reveals names of individuals who are still under investigation. This Phala Phala logic is typical of the ANC and its Ministers, who are obsessed with hiding the truth from the public, and now unashamedly seek to introduce an ANC tradition of avoiding accountability into Parliament.

The report on the investigation into the National Skills Funds must be made public and the EFF refuses to be sworn into secrecy on matters of public funds, maladministration and corruption. The EFF has warned SCOPA to not set a dangerous precedent of allowing the Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology to hide corruption with the consent of Parliament.

The report is not confidential and therefore the EFF will not subscribe to any clandestine agreement to hide corruption at the behest of Blade Nzimande. There is no Parliament legal opinion that can bind the EFF into hiding corruption, and any consideration of making reports on the misuse of public funds confidential will erode the credibility of Parliament and undermine our democracy.

Issued by Sinawo Thambo, National Spokesperson, EFF, 27 September 2022