The principal of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (Tvet) college in Mpumalanga’s Gert Sibande region is not a trusted man.

GS College head Nick Balkrishen has been accused of handing over accommodation units belonging to students to mine-workers for his own extra cash.

This was revealed to 013NEWS by the regional secretary of the young communist league in the Gert Sibande region, Ayanda Mashaba.

Mashaba said a company called BKB has been operating accommodation belonging to students at the college’s Standerton campus and part of its owners were a man whose wife worked at the college.

He said the woman’s name was Monica Swart – the college’s manager at the centre for Skills Academy and Artisan Development – in their head offices in Standerton.

He said: “The residence is an outside campus accommodation. It is situated right next to the Evander campus and students no longer live in it.

“It has now been given to mine-workers to live in and the money is being shared between the BKB owners and him the college CEO (Balkrishen),” said Mashaba.

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Now the young communists in the region are threatening to march to the GS college headquarters in Standerton and hand over a memorandum, demanding the return of the college residence to management and “the next option we will to proceed to the public protector”.

The department of high education in Pretoria said they will look into the issue.

On Friday afternoon, the 013NEWS phoned Balkrishen, who asked that all questions be sent through e-mails.

“The name of the company managing the residence is not BKB,” he said over the phone.

Asked what was the name of the company that managed the residence and whether students have been kicked out of it for mine-workers to rent, he said: “Eer, their contract is coming to an end. We will not renew it, eeer please write all your questions and e-mail them to my e-mail,” and then hung up.

Mashaba told 013NEWS: “We are saying that it can never be correct that students all over the world are crying for free education then here in Gert Sibande we allow corruption to be a culture.

“People are emblezzing the department’s funds in the name of service delivery and our march to the college is on 27 October 2016,” he said.

(reported by ZK/edited by MLM)

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