Two former university professors alleged to have swindled more than R14 million out of the University of Johannesburg want to clear their names.
The former UJ professors, Roy Marcus and former UJ council chairperson Jaco van Schoor, who was also the finance vice-chancellor, have lodged an application for damages against UJ.
The two have launched an application to the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, which will kickstart another trial.
Marcus and Van Schoor have denied the allegations that they stole more than R14 million from the institution, and are taking the university to court for damages.
An affidavit from the university claims Marcus and Van Schoor used fraudulent invoices to direct funds intended for the university’s upgrades and projects to companies linked to them.
The two former UJ professors’ legal defence, Clyde and Co, claims there is no basis for the conclusion that the two professors stole money or acted unlawfully.
Clyde and Co told The Star newspaper that Marcus and Van Schoor were in court when the order was granted, which meant the court did not have the benefit of their clients’ version on oath nor did they witness their clients’ arguments.
The two professors did not oppose the application for damages brought against them by the university in the South Gauteng High Court.
Van Schoor and Marcus were ordered to pay back R14 million, and the university had planned to recover the missing millions allegedly siphoned by the two.
Judge Philip Coppin granted the order drafted by lawyers out of court, stating Marcus and Van Schoor should both pay back the money to UJ, although the order did not exempt the pair from further criminal charges.