Sun. May 19th, 2024

Police have apprehended a businessman in connection with the ongoing R172 million corruption investigation at the University of Fort Hare in the Eastern Cape.

Justin Peter King becomes the 21st individual to be arrested, as confirmed by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Wednesday.

King was granted bail of R50,000 in the Alice Magistrate’s Court, situated in Dimbaza.

According to Luxolo Tyali, spokesperson for the NPA in the Eastern Cape, King allegedly utilized his cash loan business to provide cash payments as gratifications to UFH staff. He faces charges of fraud and corruption.

Over the Easter weekend, police arrested 15 individuals linked to the fraud and corruption case.

To date, 12 of the accused have been released on R50,000 bail under strict conditions.

The State has opposed bail applications for Anwar Khan, former bodyguard of the late rapper Kiernan ‘AKA’ Forbes, Terrence Joubert, and Issac Plaatjies.

Plaatjies has since withdrawn his bail application.

Judgment on Khan and Joubert’s bail applications is expected on Friday.

Meanwhile, the bail hearing for Terrence Joubert and Anwar Khan will resume on Friday, April 19, 2024, for a verdict.

Isaac Plaatjies, one of the accused, has opted out of the bail process. Should he reconsider, the state will contest his application.

Tyali emphasized that out of the 21 accused, nine were UFH employees, while the remainder were service providers and their companies. They stand accused of colluding to secure tender contracts at the university in exchange for gratifications.

The total funds disbursed by UFH to service providers exceed R172 million, with a significant portion allegedly diverted to the accused university employees.

Tyali noted that the conclusion of these tenders was reportedly marred by violent incidents at UFH.

Plaatjies faces separate charges, along with nine others, for the murder of UFH fleet manager Petrus Roets, attempted murder of VC Professor Sakhele Buhlungu and Deputy VC Renuka Vithal, and corruption. The trial is scheduled for October in the High Court.

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