Former Fort Hare professor appears in court after a month on the run from police

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Professor Edwin Ijeoma, who was suspended for allegedly defrauding the university of Fort Hare. (Photo: Edwin Ijeoma, Facebook)
Professor Edwin Ijeoma, who was suspended for allegedly defrauding the university of Fort Hare. (Photo: Edwin Ijeoma, Facebook)
  • Former University of Fort Hare employee Professor Edwin Ijeoma has made his first appearance in court after being on the run since March.
  • Ijeoma was wanted for allegedly stealing a vehicle.
  • The university has accused Ijeoma of irregularly admitting and registering two students, including Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane.

Former University of Fort Hare employee Professor Edwin Ijeoma appeared in the Zwelitsha Magistrate's Court in the Eastern Cape on Thursday.

Ijeoma had been on the run from the authorities since March after the university opened a case against him.

READ | Fort Hare university lays charges against fugitive professor linked to Premier Oscar Mabuyane

It is alleged that the academic stole a university car, which was later tracked to Pretoria.

The university also claimed he stole money and defrauded it of around R5 million related to unauthorised academic work and programmes at Eastern Cape government bodies and the legislature.

Ijeoma also stands accused of irregularly registering and admitting two students who didn't meet the criteria, including Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane, who he supervised.

Mabuyane has sought to distance himself from Ijeoma, with his office repeatedly claiming he was registered by the university and not by Ijeoma.

The premier has since been deregistered, demanding answers from Fort Hare.

Ijeoma arrest

Ijeoma was arrested in Qonce (formerly King William's Town) on Tuesday after being on the run for just more than a month.

DispatchLive has reported that he was in the company of a man linked to a university service provider Sagittarius Communications when he was arrested in a sting operation.

The owner of Sagittarius Communications, Athenkosi Allen, told the publication her husband was with Ijeoma at the time of the professor's arrest, but that he later went home and wasn't arrested.

Ijeoma is expected back in the Zwelitsha Magistrate's Court on 6 May for a bail application.

The National Prosecuting Authority said he currently faces a charge of theft relating to the disappearance of a university vehicle.

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