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By Nicholas Zaal

Digital Journalist

Businessman joins accused in UFH fraud case

Businessman Justin King joins a long list of those accused of fraud and corruption at UFH.

Businessman, Justin Peter King, has been added as the 21st accused in the University of Fort Hare (UFH) fraud and corruption case.

King was granted R50 000 bail on Wednesday, just like 12 other accused at the Alice Magistrate’s Court, sitting in Dimbaza, Eastern Cape.

ALSO READ: 10 UFH accused each released on R50 000 bail

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson Luxolo Tyali said the businessman is alleged to have used his cash loan business to provide cash payment gratifications to UFH staff.

Bail applications

Meanwhile, the bail application of two of the 16 accused – Terrence Joubert and Anwar Khan – is proceeding and will be back in court on Friday, 19 April, for judgment.

“One of the accused, Isaac Plaatjies, has since abandoned bail, and should he decide to still apply for bail, the state will oppose his application,” Tyali said.

Sarga Burger, Gosain van der Haar, Anna Smith, Paul Tladi, Lucrecia Davids, Mbulelo Gingcana, Nkateko Mawila, Nozuko Mabombo, Thamsanqa Sonjica, Craig Retief, Bradley Conradie, and Nthabiseng Makhoba have been each released on R50 000 bail.

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

ALSO READ: NPA says it’s ‘vindicated’ after court refuses to strike Fort Hare corruption case off the roll

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

The 21, nine of whom were UFH employees, and the rest being service providers and their companies, are accused of having colluded in giving each other tender contracts at the university in return for gratifications.

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.

ALSO READ: Fort Hare: AKA’s ex-bodyguard charged with fraud as two suspects granted R50K bail