Office manager, Snr cop among accused in Fort Hare graft scandal

The 15 people facing charges of fraud and corruption at the University of Fort Hare (UFH) include a manager in the office of the vice chancellor and a senior investigator in the National Prosecuting Authority’s Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU).

Arrested over the Easter weekend

The accused, who were arrested over the Easter weekend, made their first court appearance at the Dimbaza magistrates’ court in Dimbaza, Eastern Cape.

Nozuko “Zuki” Mabomb is one of the people who appeared briefly in the dock on Tuesday. She is the office manager in Professor Sakhela Buhlungu’s office. The matter was postponed to Wednesday for formal bail hearings.

Terrence Joubert, a senior financial investigator in the AFU in KwaZulu-Natal, was also among the accused in the UFH corruption scandal.

Police Minister Bheki Cele attended court proceedings

Police Minister Bheki Cele hinted at the arrest of more people in connection with the crime at UFH.

He attended the court proceedings together with national police commissioner General Fannie Masemola. Acting provincial commissioner Major-General Zithulele Dladla and Buhlungu also accompanied Cele.

The accused, who comprise mainly UFH staff and service providers, face charges of fraud, corruption, and racketeering. Only accused number one, Isaac Plaatjies, the former head of security and vetting at UFH, is also charged in another case. The case is in relation to murders and attempted murder charges against officials at UFH. He is charged along with nine others.

The latest arrests bring to 25 the number of people who are facing various charges in connection with violent crimes and corruption, which has resulted in the death of two university employees.

Two killed in suspected hit linked to scandal

Buhlungu’s bodyguard, Mboneli Vesele, was killed in January 2023 in what was believed to have been an assassination attempt on his boss.

Petrus Roets, who was the transport and fleet manager at UFH, was gunned down in May 2022.

Buhlungu said the university employees who appeared in court on Tuesday were either dismissed or suspended. He said half of the people who appeared in court on Tuesday were university employees. The the other half were mostly service providers.

“The ones from the university were already outside the door, either suspended or already dismissed,” he said.

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