Cele sets up task team to probe Fort Hare attacks

January 12, 2023 0 By Cypher9ja

They are intensifying their response to the recent violent and fatal attacks that have taken place at Fort Hare University, the South African Police Services (SAPS) said.

This comes after the assassination attempt on the university’s vice-chancellor, Sakhela Buhlungu.

Task team

Buhlungu’s bodyguard Mboneli Vesele was shot dead on Friday night by assailants who were in a vehicle near Buhlungu’s Alice campus residence.

The Police Ministry has assured the management of Fort Hare University that those behind the assassination attempt attack would be arrested.

Minister of Police General Bheki Cele, Deputy Minister of State Security Zizi Kodwa and the National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Fannie Masemola visited the campus on Wednesday.

A multidisciplinary team which will report directly to the office of the National Commissioner has been established to closely investigate the pattern of threats on the lives of the staff members of the institution.

ALSO READ: Bodyguard of University of Fort Hare vice-chancellor shot dead in ‘assassination attempt’


The scope of the investigative team will also include other alleged attempted hits on university staff, including the murder of Fort Hare University fleet manager, Petrus Roets, who was fatally shot last year March, Cele said.

Cele said this high-level intervention is necessary and must produce results.

“It is quite clear that the local police are just not working fast enough in making arrests and this newly established National 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.”

“As we start the academic year, we can’t afford to have anyone, be it a student a lecturer and even a groundsman or cleaner of this institution, feel uneasy about their safety,” Cele said.

Working with university

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 said.

“This, I am sure will guarantee that this respected institution is not turned into a killing field,” Cele said.

The high-level team of Security Cluster ministers and the SAPS management also paid a visit to Vesele’s bereaved family.

ALSO READ: Fort Hare: Litany of scandals preceded VC’s assassination attempt