University of Fort Hare capture – SIU investigation outcome crucial

Issued by Chantel King MP – DA Shadow Minister for Higher Education
11 Jan 2023 in News

Note to Editors: Please find attached soundbite by Chantel King MP.

The attempted assassination of University of Fort Hare Vice – Chancellor Prof. Bhulungu, the murder of Mr. Roets, the university’s fleet and transport manager and the discovery of an apparent hit list, have raised alarm bells regarding the levels of corruption so institutionalized at the university.

Towards the end of 2022, the SIU was appointed to investigate allegations of corruption and maladministration with several contracts and the irregular awarding of honors degrees. This brings into question the integrity of the application and enrolment processes, staining the image of the university’s academic progress.

The investigation was extended to four tender contracts relating to cleaning, student accommodation and the appointment of service providers.

These investigations covered an almost 11-year period from 1 November 2012 to 5 August 2022. This is a clear indication of a lack in due diligence with monitoring, record keeping, tender processes and overall good governance at the institution over an extended period.

We welcome the commitment by Prof. Bhulungu to rid the university of being captured by a corrupt syndicate of academics, officials and businesses, and recommend the review of tender processes and rigid vetting of businesses applying for these tenders.

Furthermore, measures must urgently be put in place to safeguard whistleblowers from intimidation.

The DA calls for a speedy conclusion of the investigative report which should include recommendations of criminal charges where necessary.