Ramaphosa explains why former higher education DG was placed on precautionary suspension

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Suspended DHET director-general Gwebinkundla Qonde. Photo: Antonio Muchave/Sowetan/Gallo Images
Suspended DHET director-general Gwebinkundla Qonde. Photo: Antonio Muchave/Sowetan/Gallo Images

President Cyril Ramaphosa says former higher education director-general (DG) Gwebinkundla Qonde was placed on precautionary suspension to pave the way for a forensic investigation into his misconduct.

This emerged in Ramaphosa's reply to a parliamentary question from UDM leader Bantu Holomisa, who had been vocal about Qonde's suspension as well as the former DG's allegations levelled against Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande.

Holomisa's question read: "Whether he was satisfied that when he instructed that [Gwebinkundla Qonde] should be placed under precautionary suspension, based on adverse findings of the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA), in an audit of the 2018-19 and 2019-20 financial years of the National Skills Fund (NSF), that any other officials, including the specified person, as the accounting authority, had not been coerced, forced and/or given any political directives, which led to the irregularities and/or qualified opinion."

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