UJ locks horns with fired professor over pension

Disgraced former deputy vice-chancellor of finance at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) Jaco van Schoor is still fighting the institution in a bid to lay hands on his pension payout, eight years after he was shown the door after being entangled in a corruption scandal.

Van Schoor, who was fired alongside the institution’s chairperson of council, Roy Marcus, has tried to get the Financial Services Tribunal to force the university to pay his pension bounty.

He worked for the institution of higher learning from 1998 until his dismissal in 2017 after his alleged criminal activities came to the fore.

In 2017, an investigation conducted by auditing firm Sizwe Ntsaluba Gobodo concluded that there was a prima facie case that the chair of council, Marcus, and deputy vice-chancellor: finance, Van Schoor, contravened legal provisions and ethical obligations, including those contained in the university’s statute.

Van Schoor and Marcus and their other associates were arrested amid allegations of corruption at UJ involving more than R14-million.

Also, the university then duly laid criminal charges.

The university withheld his pension benefits pending the civil and criminal litigation it has pursued against Van Schoor.

Van Schoor complained to the Pensions Fund Adjudicator (PFA) about the university withholding his benefits.

The PFA, while it found Van Schoor’s application to reconsider the university’s decision had been prescribed due to him having launched it more than three years after the fact, still gave him an audience.

The Financial Services Tribunal found the PFA had bent  over backwards to accommodate Van Schoor and set aside  its decision to give Van Schoor a lifeline .

This was after the university approached the tribunal to set aside the PFA’s decision.

“In seeking to re-interpret the complaint, the PFA drew a distinction which is not supported by a plain reading of the complaint,” the tribunal found.

“The complaint raised by the second respondent (van Schoor) clearly concerned the with­holding of his pension ­benefit…it appears the PFA accepted that the initial decision was time-barred, but the decision to continue to withhold was not.”

UJ spokesperson Herman Esterhuizen said: “The issue you referred to is sub judice, and the university cannot comment at this stage. However, the university is taking the necessary measures to recover all the monies lost within the legal prescripts.”


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