Arrests in Fort Hare murder investigations linked to corruption

The Police Ministry has welcomed the breakthrough in the murder and attempted murder investigations at the University of Fort Hare in the Eastern Cape.

The Ministry is also encouraged that the investigating team deployed to probe corruption related attacks in and around the University, continues to make inroads towards justice.

The team is investigating the murder of the driver and close protector of Fort Hare University Vice Chancellor, Professor Sakhela Buhlungu. Protector Mboneni Vesele was shot and killed while inside the Professors vehicle in February 2023.

The scope of the investigative team also included the murder of the Institutions fleet manager, Petrus Roets, who was fatally shot in March last year, the attempted assassinations of other University staff members have also been investigated by the team.

On Tuesday 11 April 2023, five men appeared for the first time before the Alice Magistrates court, for their respective roles in a series of attacks on Fort Hare University staff, including the two murders.

Police arrested the five men over the long weekend, charged with murder, attempted murder, as well as fraud and corruption. Two of the accused are also facing additional charges related to the possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Fort Hare University management, through its Vice Chancellor Professor Buhlungu has commended the breakthrough. The institution however is disturbed that some of those who appeared in the dock are former and current employees of the University.

One of the accused is a former SRC member; turned businessman who is a service provider to the University.

Police Minister General, Bheki Cele on Tuesday 11 April 2023, attended the court proceedings along with National Police Commissioner, General Fannie Masemola and his management team.

They have urged investigators to leave no stone unturned in connecting all the dots and finding all those behind the series of attacks on University employees, believed to be linked to corruption within the institution.

The five men are expected to formally apply for bail on 4 May 2023 and remain in custody.

SAPS Newsroom

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