Mthatha Express

Cele establishes team to investigate threats against University of Fort Hare staff

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University of Fort Hare is one of South Africa’s most historic centres of higher learning.
University of Fort Hare is one of South Africa’s most historic centres of higher learning.
Photo: Rod Bally

Police Minister, Bheki Cele has announced the establishment of a multi-disciplinary team to closely investigate the pattern of threats to the lives of the staff members of the University of Fort Hare. 

Cele made the announcement during a visit to the institution, on January 11, following the murder of Mboneni Vesele, the protector and driver to the institution’s Vice Chancellor Professor Sakhela Buhlungu over the weekend. 

ICYMI | University of Fort Hare vice-chancellor moved to 'safe' location' after bodyguard shot dead

Cele was accompanied by Deputy State Security Minister Zizi Kodwa and national police commissioner General Fanie Masemola during his visit to the university. 

The multi-disciplinary team will include detectives, forensic analysts, crime intelligence, members of organised crime and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI). 

“It is quite clear that the local police are just not working fast enough in making arrests and this newly established team, through its work, must send a strong message to criminals that this government will not be threatened or shaken and will certainly not back down or co-govern with criminals,” Cele said. 

The scope of the investigation by the multi-disciplinary team will also include other alleged attempted hits on Fort Hare University staff including the murder of the institution’s fleet manager, Petrus Roets, who was fatally shot in March 2022. 

The multi-disciplinary team will report directly to General Masemola’s office. 

“As we start the academic year, we cannot afford to have anyone, be it a student, lecturer and even a groundsman or cleaner of this institution feel uneasy about their safety. This is why the team must work closely with university staff and the intelligence community to crack the cases that will see the culprits go to jail,” Cele concluded.  

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