FIRST ON EWN: Motsepe Foundation had no part in Wits scam

Wits students were misled by suspected scammers, who claimed their fees would be paid by the organisation.

Wits University Senate House. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Motsepe Foundation has clarified that it does not have representatives at tertiary institutions after dozens of Wits students were misled by suspected scammers, who claimed their fees would be paid by the organisation.

Several students have told Eyewitness News how two people approached them during the Fees Must Fall demonstrations back in 2015, collected their personal information and offered them funding on behalf of the foundation.

The pair, who are also believed to be studying at the university, repeatedly promised via email to assist the students to get scholarships, which never materialised.

The Motsepe Foundation says it was not aware of the suspect activity being conducted under its name and has urged the public to deal directly with the organisation when looking for funding.

A Wits student, who won't be able to graduate until she pays her fees, says she still does not understand why the pair pretended to be working for the foundation.

“This woman has records with all our personal details including our student numbers, how much we owe, what we’re studying.”

Wits University’s Shirona Patel says they’re in talks with students.

“We will advise them on available funding options.”

While the students themselves were not cheated out of any money, some fear their details may now be used to con potential funders.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)