Premier Mabuyane must come clean about Fort Hare degree

Issued by Nqaba Bhanga MPL – DA EC Leader in the Provincial Legislature
15 May 2023 in News

Note to Editors: Please find an attached soundbites in English and IsiXhosa by Nqaba Bhanga MPL

Premier Oscar Mabuyane must come clean about the details surrounding his research proposal to obtain a master’s and PhD in Public Administration, as well as his relationship with tainted University of Fort Hare professor, Edwin Ijeoma.

Not only are the allegations extremely serious, but they also raise serious questions about the ethical conduct of the Premier and, left unanswered, bring his term of leadership into serious dispute.

A Special Investigation Unit report alleges that Mabuyane tried to fake his way into a PhD, with the help of Professor Ijeoma and a secret team of ghostwriters. The Premier is just one of many senior ANC public representatives implicated in this qualification scandal.

Allegations that he misrepresented himself by signing a letter that gave the impression he already had a master’s degree in public administration are deeply concerning. This is an offence in terms of the National Qualifications Amendment framework Act, and carries a fine and up to five years imprisonment.

The Premier is the first citizen of the province, and his conduct should be beyond reproach. Should these allegations prove true, one must ask what other duties he has outsourced during his term as Premier.

It was not so long ago that his office was embroiled in allegations of plagiarism over the Provincial Digital Transformation Framework and Strategy Plan.

The Democratic Alliance want to commend the University of Fort Hare for the steps it has taken to date to rectify the matter and protect the reputation of this historic institution.

It is an embarrassment and disgrace that the actions of a few political elites and their own selfish interests have tarnished the reputation of an institution that has been instrumental in developing so many of our leaders. Leaders who have spent years of their lives developing the skills and earning their degrees.

We want to congratulate those members of the Fort Hare panel who raised their concerns and did not allow themselves to be influenced to turn a blind eye to the alleged maladministration that was taking place.