Former UJ execs ordered to cough up the money

Two former executives who ripped off the University of Johannesburg (UJ) have been ordered to pay back the money they allegedly siphoned from the university.

Professor Roy Marcus — the former chairperson of the university’s council — and Jaco van Schoor — the former deputy vice-chancellor of finance — used fraudulent invoices to channel money intended for UJ’s projects (one of which was solar geyser installation) to companies linked to them.

Neither Marcus nor Schoor were in the Johannesburg high court when the order for them to pay R14-million to UJ was granted.

On Wednesday, The Star reported the two men did not oppose an application for damages that UJ and the Resolution Circle — a company wholly owned by the university and used in its commercialisation activities — brought against them in the Johannesburg high court.

According to UJ’s content and publications manager Priyal Pillay however, since the judgment was granted in Marcus and Van Schoor’s absence, “There is still a possibility for them to apply for rescission of the judgment.”

According to court papers, Clarify Investment earned over R10 871 506.14 from the transactions, while Triad Capital and Mainstream Aquaculture received R2.2-million and R1.2-million respectively.

READ MORE: Corruption Watch releases biannual corruption trends report

The money paid to the three companies was then channelled to Innovative Investment Corporation, and UJ received neither services nor goods from the transactions. Marcus and Van Schoor were directors of Innovative Investment Corporation, a fact that they did not declare to UJ, The Star reported.

According to court papers, the payments were made in violation of the university’s procurement policies. By defrauding the university, UJ noted in its court papers that the pair had “wrongfully caused the plaintiffs damages by their intentional or negligent conduct”.

In a statement, UJ noted that the companies had “acted fraudulently by submitting invoices for work they had not done”.

Marcus resigned from his position in September last year, and Van Schoor was fired after disciplinary proceedings in 2017 found that he had breached his employment contract with UJ.


In response to the above article and others in the media, Marcus and Van Schoor responded saying:

On 8 August 2018, The Star published an article headed “UJ retrieves stolen R14m” regarding Professor Roy Marcus and Mr Jaco van Schoor. The Star did not afford Professor Marcus or Mr van Schoor a right of reply in respect of this article.

The attorneys for Professor Marcus and Mr van Schoor have provided the following response to the article:

“Both Professor Marcus and Mr van Schoor strenuously deny the allegations made against them by the University of Johannesburg. There is no basis whatsoever for a conclusion that they “stole” money or in any way acted fraudulently or unlawfully.

When the High Court granted the application for summary judgment order referred to in the article, it did not have the benefit of the version of Professor Marcus or Mr van Schoor on oath, nor did it hear argument from our clients’ counsel. An application to rescind the High Court order will be launched on 10 August 2018, so as to allow the matter to proceed to trial.

Professor Marcus and Mr van Schoor are of the view that they have not engaged in any wrongdoing. They welcome the opportunity for the matter to proceed to trial on its merits, so that they can fully ventilate the issues and clear their names”.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertisting

Odd drop in how Covid-19 numbers grow

As the country hunkers down for a second week of lockdown, how reliable is the data available and will it enable a sound decision for whether South Africans can leave their homes on April 16?

Mail & Guardian needs your help

Our job is to help give you the information we all need to participate in building this country, while holding those in power to account. But now the power to help us keep doing that is in your hands

Press Releases

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders