SIU to investigate alleged degree fraud at University of Fort Hare

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University of Fort Hare. Photo: Supplied
University of Fort Hare. Photo: Supplied


The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is set to probe allegations of maladministration in the awarding of honours degrees at the University of Fort Hare in the Eastern Cape.

It will also investigate – among others – the sourcing of public servants to study at various faculties at the institution for individual personal gain.

The SIU revealed this in a media statement on Friday afternoon: 

Furthermore, the SIU will also launch a probe into four tenders at the university. These include contracts for cleaning and gardening services, the leasing of student accommodation tender, the appointment of service providers for the maintenance and repair of air conditioning systems and collusion between officials of the university and service providers, in which such officials held direct or indirect interests.

Last year, the university laid criminal charges against Professor Edwin Ijeoma – whom it has since parted ways with – for allegedly admitting and registering two students, including Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane. Mabuyane, who was supervised by Ijeoma, was excluded and deregistered by the university from its master’s programme. The premier had threatened to appeal the decision but never did.

The university also placed Ijeoma on suspension last year after allegations that he had irregularly registered former Eastern Cape health MEC Sindiswa Gomba for an honours degree in public administration, even though she did not have an undergraduate degree.

READ: The fall of a university: How Fort Hare collapsed into dysfunction

The Daily Dispatch reported in April last year that the Hawks had raided several campuses of the institutions into student admission fraud, corruption and money laundering activities by Ijeoma.

The paper reported that the university had also laid criminal charges against Ijeoma for unauthorised academic work and programmes for the Eastern Cape legislature.

In its statement, the SIU said the investigation will cover the allegations between November 2012 and August 5 this year.

“The SIU will investigate any unlawful or improper conduct by the officials, employees, service providers or suppliers to the university or any entity.”

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