R20 000 bribe for a place at UKZN medical school

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A Johannesburg man says he paid a R20 0000 bribe for a place at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine but did not get in when he was unable to pay the full amount.

According to a Sunday Tribune report, Muhammad Bilal Vadwa has came forward to assist with investigations, claiming he paid R20 000 to a high-ranking university official. The report says the university confirmed it had now appointed an independent forensic auditor to look into the matter.

Vadwa, who is a first year MBChB student at another university, applied to UKZN last year for the 2016 academic year. “I applied as a mature student because I already have a BSc from Wits University. I called on the office of the official and she gave me the run-around. We then exchanged cellphone numbers and after communicating several times, I took R15,000 to her home in Newlands,” said Vadwa. He said the official subsequently requested a further R5,000 from him but instructed him to pay a motor mechanic to repair her vehicle. “I had no more money and when I went back to enquire, the official told me she and two others were sorting out a place for me but they needed R30,000 more,” he said.

He claims to have ended communication with her after that because he was granted a place at another university. He is quoted in the report as saying that he was seeking legal advice and he and his attorney were drafting an affidavit.

The report says Vadwa’s allegations emerged two weeks after the university confirmed it was investigating a possible syndicate accepting bribes to secure places for Indian South African students at the medical school and asked people to assist with the investigation.

This week, the university said it was aware of Vadwa’s claims. “We are awaiting a copy of his sworn affidavit. An internal investigation into the serious allegations is under way and we are in contact with the SAPS which is looking into the matter,” said spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka.

The report says the official who Vadwa made the claims against was contacted for comment. She said: “The investigation process should be left to be concluded.”

Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane confirmed fraud was being investigated, the report said.

Full Sunday Tribune report

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