Former student alleges NSFAS fraud at Waterberg TVET College.

Lebowakgomo

 

Former student accuses Waterberg TVET College in Lebowakgomo for his drop out as a student due to allege fraud made by the instutition back in 2017.

This comes after he discovered the instutition failed to deregister him as he pleaded with management.

After failing grade 11, Lerato Sefoka left Monyaku High School to enrol with Waterberg TVET College.

He was admitted and had submitted every document necessary and he was also funded by National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

However Lerato did not apply for student accommodation, and he was unable to rent a private accommodation.

He then decided to implore the instutition to deregister him so he could return back to his former school to complete his matric.

Lerato said he took the decision due to the accommodation dilemma he was facing.

“Waterberg management confirmed that they would deregister me but I had not received a deregistration confirmation,” he explained.

He said the management promised that their system would sort everything out so long as he does not attend classes.

After passing his matric in 2019, he went back to the Waterberg to register as a first year student.

“I was shocked to discover the institution hadn’t cancelled my registration since 2017. I blame the management for everything that happened because they are the one who promised me that everything would be sorted,” said frustrated man.

He said he was confused and his main concern was who signed his Schedule of Particulars (SOP) on his behalf. Lerato said the Institution claimed the NSFAS paid out his fees and books.

“I tried to investigate and asked the management who exactly singed my documents but I was denied access to the information,” he uttered.

According to Lerato, hoax files where created and untrue marks were recorded.

“They showed me their register which unveiled that I got 6% in Mathematics. Can you believe it? How could I have written Mathematics at that time because I was repeating Grade 11,” he revealed.

Lerato reiterated that he never wrote any of the instutition modules in 2017.

“Since they claim I wrote Mathematics, I then demanded to see my marked script and they refused,” he said

He alleges that NSFAS funds were transferred into the school account as he had not received any SMS.

“During registration in 2019 I had a hard time registering while other students were registering I was busy going up and down trying to find a solution to this problem,” he said

He said the institution had treated his case unfairly and he believes he had a strong case.

Lerato said the only thing management did was to call an urgent meeting with my parents but they could not make it because he lives with his grandparent who cannot walk properly.

According to Lerato an unknown person who signed his SOP had agreed that NSFAS would pay for the past three consecutive years.

But he only benefited from it only in 2019 as a first year student.

He was part of the School Representative Council (SRC) in 2020, and according to his former institution policy, any student who is part of the office, their fees should be paid by the institution.

Due to financial problems he was forced to drop out as he was no longer part of the office.

He said his peers received laptops but he couldn’t due to complex issue he which believes were made by management.

To make matters worse he mentioned that in 2019 he was told that he owes R46 000 to NSFAS which he did not receive.

“The management has failed me dismally because I had a serious case but it was no treated with the level of seriousness it deserved,” he briefed.

Lerato went to the police station in 2019 to open a fraud case but he was advised to lay his complaint at the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).

“I went to DHET in Polokwane to raise my concern and I was told my case is big which could result in someone losing their job,” said Lerato.

As part of intervention, the DHET approached the main campus in Mokopane, they took the matter to the school principal and it escalated to his campus manager, said Lerato.

“Without my consent the campus manager sent untrue marks and information to the main campus and it was also forwarded to the DHET,” he said.

He said he still waiting for the DHET to give him an update. He is currently looking for potential bursaries and financial assistance in order to finish his studies as his granny depends on social grant.

Thapelo Motseo

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