AFU obtains restraint order in UFH corruption matter – NPA

Current value of the restrained assets is R14,3m, but that value should increase

AFU obtains restraint order in University of Fort Hare corruption matter

7 June 2023

The NPA’s Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) has obtained a provisional restraint order against the property of Walter Qusheka, who is the director of Garden to Floors PTY LTD, trading as Qush cleaning services (Qush), a company implicated in the University of Fort Hare (UFH) corruption. The order also relates to five other defendants, as well as Qusheka’s wife.

The current value of the restrained assets is R14,3 million, but that value should increase as the court-appointed curator investigates the assets of the defendants. The alleged corrupt activities at UFH where Qush had a contract with the university expired at the end of its determined period in 2015. However, a university official, Thobile George, the former Contracts Manager at UFH, unilaterally extended the contract on a month-to-month basis, resulting in a loss for UFH of R19,2 million. George did not have the lawful power to contract on behalf of UFH.

The amount was made up of multiple invoices that were submitted to the university and were paid to Qush for services including additional cleaners, and once-off cleaning after events or accidental incidents such as flooding. When UFH officials were queried 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. Evidence also revealed that George received payments from Qush which amounted to R4 million and were paid into the bank account of a company that he is the director of.

George, Walter and Vuyokazi Qusheka, Yolisa Songca, Lungelwa Finwana, and Yandiswa Sonamzi face criminal charges of fraud and corruption, and that matter is postponed until 04 August 2023 for the setting of a trial date in the East London Regional Court.

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.

Issued by Luxolo Tyali, NPA Regional Spokesperson, Eastern Cape Division, 7 June 2023