Deep political entrenchment at UFH

Issued by Chantel King MP – DA Shadow Minister for Higher Education
10 May 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Chantel King MP

The DA calls on the Special Investigating Unit to speed up its investigations into allegations of maladministration and corruption at Fort Hare University. It is crucial that those individuals or organisations responsible for the danger that persists at the University be brought to book as a matter of urgency.

The DA’s oversight to UFH’s Alice campus and our meeting with UFC Vice-Chancellor (VC), Prof Sakhela Buhlungu, (See photos here and here) has made the continued danger to staff, and by extend students, quite clear, which necessitated the appointment of private security for 20 members of staff after the murder of two personnel, VC body guard Mboneli Vesele, and UFC fleet manager, Petrus Roets. We applaud the VCs efforts and determination to eradicate rot of corruption from the University.

The violent reaction to efforts to eradicate corruption and capture, show how deep-rooted the problem at the University is, and how important strong political will and support is in addressing it – something that is sadly lacking from Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande.

The revelations of alleged issuing of fraudulent qualifications by Prof Edwin Ijeoma, whose own PhD was obtained on fraudulent grounds, to politicians like Public Service and Administration Minister Noxolo Kiviet whose honours degree was obtained without a junior degree, has shown that deep-rooted corruption and capture are not so easy to eradicate.

It is also clear that an investigation into the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) is needed, as their failure to flag Prof Ijeoma’s degree might go beyond mere ineptitude. And former VCs, like Dr Tom Mvuoy and Prof Derrick Swartz, must be questioned to shed light on how long the University has been captured.