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R14.3m restraint order awarded in University of Fort Hare corruption case


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R14.3m restraint order awarded in University of Fort Hare corruption case

8th June 2023

By: News24Wire


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The Eastern Cape High Court in East London has granted a R14.3-million restraint order against six people charged with corruption in connection with a cleaning services contract at the University of Fort Hare (UFH).

The Asset Forfeiture Unit obtained the provisional restraint order against Walter Qusheka and five other defendants, including Qusheka's wife, who are linked to a company implicated in the scandal.


UFH described the order as a "breakthrough in the fight against corruption".

Qusheka is the director of Garden to Floors PTY LTD, trading as Qush.


Qush had the cleaning services contract, which expired in 2015.

However, it was renewed on a month-to-month basis by former UFH contract manager, Thobile George, who allegedly "had no lawful authority to contract on behalf of the university", according to UFH.

It resulted in a R19.2-million loss for the university.

UFH added:

Evidence in the possession of the university and provided to law enforcement agencies showed that George received kickback payments to the amount of R4 million. Funds were paid by Qush into an account where George sat as a director of a company after he illegally extended the contract.

According to National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Luxolo Tyali, multiple invoices were submitted to the university and were paid to Qush for services that included additional cleaners and once-off cleaning after events, or accidental incidents such as flooding.

"When UFH officials were [asked] about the additional cleaning services, it turned out that there were no additional cleaners employed nor were there instances of once-off cleaning that had transpired," Tyali said.

George, Walter, Vuyokazi Qusheka, Yolisa Songca, Lungelwa Finwana, and Yandiswa Sonamzi face charges of fraud and corruption.

They are expected to appear in the East London Regional Court on 4 August in connection with the charges.

Tyali added: "The granting of the restraint order demonstrates the in-roads that the combined efforts of the South African Police Service and NPA are making into cracking the corruption and criminal activities at UFH, which have been the subject of extensive media attention, following assassinations and attempted murder of the university's vice-chancellor."

"These efforts are starting to bear fruit and will not cease until UFH is allowed to focus on its core mandate of educating students, instead of constantly dealing with criminal elements in their midst," he added.

He said the value of the restrained assets should increase as the court-appointed curator investigates the defendants' assets.


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