South Africa bursary scandal suspects granted bail

Three men accused of defrauding a bursary scheme for university students in South Africa have been granted bail.

The trio were arrested less than a month ago on allegations of funnelling more than 16m rand ($863,000, £693,000) from the finance company KPMG to private bank accounts.

The Palm Ridge Magistrate’s court in Johannesburg set bail at 50,000 rand each.

Fidelis Moema, Lebogang Sigubundu and Trevor Machimana are alleged to have worked together between October 2019 and 2022.

All three are reported to be intending to plead not guilty though they have yet to enter a formal plea.

A brief look at Mr Moema’s professional history shows the 32-year-old worked in human resources at Ford Motors and as a brand ambassador for several businesses including the retail chain Woolworths.

Mr Moema was reported to police following disciplinary proceedings at KPMG.

The case is due to continue on 24 May when state prosecutors say more witnesses may be presented.

Evidence so far about the suspected fraud has come from Mr Moema’s ex-girlfriends, according to National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane.

“The number of people we are looking at might increase. We prefer to wait for the right moment. When we are at the stage to disclose our docket, we will be able to tell how many people have been added to the case.”

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