THE University of Johannesburg (UJ) has clarified allegations contained in an article that appeared in digital platform, News24, on Tuesday, under the headline “Senior UJ officials involved in attempted embezzlement of hundreds of millions in government funding”.
The article reported that hundreds of millions of rands in taxpayers’ money from the Department of Science and Technology, the Industrial Development Corporation of SA (IDC) as well as funding from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) went down the drain as senior UJ executives colluded to embezzle the intellectual property and main assets of Photovoltaic Technology Intellectual Property (PTiP).
PTiP is a once celebrated local technology development and intellectual holding company.
UJ, in a statement, said the article referred to a series of events preceding 2017 and that none of the people or entities mentioned in the article were currently UJ employees or have any association with the University.
“As for the matter regarding two former executives – Dr Roy Marcus (former chairperson of the University’s Council) (“Marcus”) and Jaco van Schoor (the former Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Finance) (“Van Schoor”) – this is a matter dating back five years ago,” the university said in a statement.
“The University wishes to remind the public that the matter was vigorously investigated and in this regard the Council of UJ was quick to commission an investigation by SNG Grant (SizweNtsalubaGobodo) an independent audit, advisory and forensic services firm. Also, the University then duly laid criminal charges.”
The university said the Criminal case is currently being handled by the Hawks.
Civil actions were instituted in the South Gauteng High Court against Marcus, Van Schoor and 9 others to repay the monies that they defrauded the University with.
The matter is ongoing and being actively pursued by UJ.
UJ said it takes claims of fraud and corruption seriously and that it does not tolerate these in any form.
“When such claims are made or emerge, the University has internal processes to investigate and act accordingly, as it did with Marcus and Van Schoor,” the university said.
“This is an ethical and moral obligation, and the University will not hesitate to act against any of its employees found to have been involved in any acts of fraud and corruption or any other transgression.”