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By Nicholas Zaal

Digital Journalist

10 UFH accused each released on R50 000 bail

The 10 accused were released on R50 000 bail, had to surrender their passports and must report to their nearest police station every Wednesday.

Ten of the 15 accused in the University of Fort Hare (UFH) fraud and corruption case were released on bail on Thursday.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson, Luxolo Tyali said the NPA did not oppose bail “after considering some recent developments about their circumstances relating to the case”.

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However, the state is opposing bail for three of the accused: Terrence Joubert, Anwar Khan and Isaac Plaatjies.

“Even though Plaatjies abandoned bail, he reserves the right to still apply for bail which the state will oppose. Khan and Joubert will be making their formal bail application tomorrow, 12 April 2024,” Tyali said.

Must report to police

The 10 accused who were released on R50 000 bail each were: Anna Smith, Paul Tladi, Lucrecia Davids, Mbulelo Gingcana, Nkateko Mawila, Nozuko Mabombo, Thamsanqa Sonjica, Craig Retief, Bradley Conradie, and Nthabiseng Makhoba.

The conditions attached are that they should report to their respective nearest police stations on Wednesdays and surrender their passports to the investigating officer.

The accused, along with five business entities that the state has added, will be back in court on 9 May.

All this comes after Magistrate Nontuthuzelo Sontlaba ruled in favour of the state and rejected the defence’s request to thrown the case out of court.

The accused were arrested over the Easter Weekend by the police’s national task team investigating criminality at the university, which has resulted in murders and attempted murders.

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They were arrested along with Sarga Burger and Gosain van der Haar, who were also granted R50 000 bail each.

“The 15, nine of whom were UFH employees, and the rest being service providers, are accused of having colluded in giving each other tender contracts at the university in return for gratifications,” Tyali said.

“The total amount of funds paid by UFH to the service providers is more than R172 million, with the bulk of it allegedly finding its way to the pockets of the accused university employees.

“The conclusion of these tenders was allegedly preceded by violent acts at UFH.”

Murder and attempted murder

Plaajties is charged in a separate matter, along with nine people for the murder of the university’s fleet manager Petrus Roets and the university’s vice-chancellor’s bodyguard Richard Vesele, and attempted murder of the vice-chancellor Professor Sakhele Buhlungu and his deputy Renuka Vithal.

Plaajties and the others are also charged with corruption and are due in Bhisho High Court on 8 October.

All of them but one charged in this case remain in custody after they were denied bail.