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Disappointment and a sense of betrayal – Fort Hare's vc

Bail applications continue

Jeanette Chabalala Senior Reporter
Fort Hare vice-chancellor Prof Sakhela Buhlungu.
Fort Hare vice-chancellor Prof Sakhela Buhlungu.
Image: Alaister Russell

"There is disappointment and a sense of betrayal that we feel by some of the people here in court today."

This how Fort Hare University vice-chancellor Prof Sakhela Buhlungu described the court appearance of his six co-workers who appeared alongside nine other accused for various crimes including corruption, fraud and murder linked to the university.

The accused are Isaac Plaatjies, Anna Susana Ansa Smith, Paul Anathanatius Tladi, Lucrecia Claudine Davids, Mbulelo Gingcina, Louis Nkateko Mawila, Nozuko Mabombo, Gosain Wayne van der Haar, Thamsanqa Sonjica, Terrence Joubert, Bradley Conradie, Sarah Pearl Burger, Craig Retief, Anwar Khan and Nthabiseng Makhoba. The accused include people who were service providers of the university. Plaaitjies is also facing a charge of murder linked to the university. 

They appeared yesterday at Dimbaza magistrate's court in Eastern Cape. 

"I just want to address one thing, yes, some of the people are from the university but half only. The rest are from outside. The ones from the university, the majority of them were outside the door; either they were already suspended or already dismissed, and we were already acting [rooting out corruption]. Two of them, their DCs [disciplinary hearings] were supposed to sit this week," Buhlungu said.

Buhlungu thanked minister of police Bheki Cele, national police commissioner Fanie Masemola and the task team that effected the arrests, saying that the university received regular briefings from them.

"What you see here does not surprise us. We have been briefed, we work with them, we cooperate, we provide information and we work together. In a way, this is a model of how we should deal with criminality in our institutions. You work with authorities instead of shouting from across the fence and that is what we have been doing here."

Police Minister Bheki Cele arriving at the Dimbaza Magistrates court on Tuesday.
Police Minister Bheki Cele arriving at the Dimbaza Magistrates court on Tuesday.
Image: Mark Andrews

Cele said investigations were ongoing and officers would leave no stone unturned. "For now, we are at the very beginning, so it's OK to give time for the teams [investigating] to continue to do the work. Ours is to do our job and prove we have a case.

"Police started at zero. We are at 25 [arrests] now and the investigating team never sleeps."

Burger, from Cape Town, and Van der Haar, from Vincent in East London, were granted R50,000 bail each after the state did not oppose their release. Plaatjies abandoned a bail bid. 

Twelve of the accused will apply for bail today. – Additional reporting by Daily Dispatch


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