An Eastern Cape University Vice Chancellor has appealed to the President to step in after facing a life threatening experience. This comes after the academic’s bodyguard lost his life in the incident.
In a vehicle outside of his home, University of Fort Hare’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Sakhela Buhlungu’s bodyguard was shot dead after shots were fired on 6 January 2022.
It is believed that this was no random shooting, but rather an attempted assassination on the academic.
The university has since swiftly beefed up its security following the attempted hit on its Vice-Chancellor.
This comes after a year since the university was put under administration by the Department of Higher Education due to a number of challenges faced by the institution.
In an interview, Universities South Africa’s (Usaf) CEO, Dr. Phethiwe Matutu has shared:
We are aware of the fact that the special investigating unit is investigating a number of areas within the universities.
According to Matutu, these areas are associated with the garden and catering tenders, also the fraudulent issuing of qualifications within the university.
Buhlungu has publicly appealed to President Ramaphosa to ensure his safety following the attempted hit on his life.
Higher Education Minister Dr. Blade Nzimande has engaged with the Minister of Police, requesting that this matter be taken as a priority investigation. Usaf is shocked and dismayed by what has happened, and has since strongly condemned this act.
This is not the first time that the university has received the attention of the Department of Higher Education and Training. Minister Nzimande has shared that a lot has been happening in the background in resolving the many problems faced by this institution.
The department will be meeting with various stakeholders, including the university’s executive management, on-campus trade unions, and the students to make an assessment of their views, challenges and what more needs to be done.
Should this matter not be addressed on time, it might negatively affect the start of the academic year for the university’s students.