The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has caused an uproar after saying the death of Yonwaba Manyanya is not related to it.
This after the 26-year-old eThekwini TVET College student’s death this week, allegedly of hunger and fatigue after spending three days sleeping outside the campus.
Sunday World reported the student had been evicted from her accommodation because she could no longer pay rent due to delays in receiving her NSFAS grants.
Her brother, Mlungisi Manyanya, told the publication the family only heard about their child’s death on Facebook.
Yonwabo Manyanya died of hunger and fatigue at the age of 26. After NSFAS failed to pay her allowances, she was evicted and slept outside her college in the cold -where she died. Why are we not talking about this?
NSFAS needs to answer.
— Cameron Kendall Peters (@CameronKendall) May 26, 2021
“Her pictures were being circulated by her friends who were studying with her at the college expressing their condolences. It was the most hurtful thing ever,” Manyanya was quoted as saying.
Yonwaba was studying towards a diploma in electrical and infrastructure construction.
Responding to the outrage on social media, NSFAS sent its condolences to Yonwaba’s family, but said her death was in no way connected to it.
“NSFAS is saddened by the untimely passing of Ms Yonwaba Manyanya, a student from eThekwini TVET College. According to our records, Yonwaba was last funded by NSFAS in 2020 and not in 2021,” it said.
“It has been confirmed that this horrific incident is unrelated to NSFAS, but any loss of life is devastating especially of a student. We wish to extend our condolences to her family during this difficult time.”
Deputy public protector Kholeka Gcaleka announced earlier this year that NSFAS would be investigated by the Office of the Public Protector.
This comes after R7 billion in irregular expenditure was reportedly uncovered.
The public protector’s office received eight complainants concerning NSFAS last year.
NSFAS has come under fire for failing to assist students due to its inability to raise funds, recover loans, disburse the correct amounts to students and delayed disbursements.
Among the institutions that Gcaleka will visit are the University of Free State, Tshwane University of Technology, Unisa, and some technical and vocational education and rraining (TVET) colleges across the country
Additional reporting by Siyanda Ndlovu