July 16, 2024
Minister Blade Nzimande on Hayley Reichert Misleading Interview on eNCA
– By Godswill Odiong

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The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande dismisses with contempt the misleading and unfounded allegations by Hayley Reichert, who claims, without evidence, to be representing the South Africa students who are funded by the Mpumalanga Department of Education to pursue their studying at various universities in Russia.

It is vividly clear from numerous public letters, interviews and her public posture that Reichert is cynically using the legitimate plight of students studying in Russia on a decidedly anti-government tirade. We believe this because her tirade deliberately and cynically ignores numerous efforts by Government both in South Africa and its representatives in Russia to address the plight of the affected students.

The Department of Higher Education and Training is well aware of the challenges on the Mpumalanga Scholarship. The province has requested the Department to assist and facilitate with the local absorption of the returning students. The Department has already started engagements with local universities to request intake of returning students. In this regard, we follow the law and due process as there are requirements to be met by numerous independent bodies including universities, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA).

“My Ministry officials have held feedback sessions with some of the affected students to understand their plight and to provide them with the necessary feedback from the Mpumalanga Department of Education, particularly following the Mpumalanga MEC Bonakele Majuba’s media briefing which outlined processes they have initiated to deal with the situation. I must upfront indicate that as a national Department of Higher Education and Training, we have a very good feedback mechanism and well-established communication channel with the affected students through their representatives,” said Minister Nzimande.

“It is so unfortunate that Hayley Reichert who masquerade as a representative of students goes on public media to claim that the South African government is not concerned about these students who, we should remind the public, are recipients of Government sponsored funding to study abroad. It is clear from the public posture of Reichert that she is not interested in recognizing or appreciating the serious efforts being undertaken by our Government representatives, together with numerous independent institutions, to find reasonable accommodation for those students wishing to transfer into the South African education system,” said Minister Nzimande.

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