Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande has confirmed that the Special Investigating Unit is probing the fraudulent registration of 15 politicians in post-graduate programmes at Fort Hare University.
He said the SIU, headed up by Advocate Andy Mothibi, will look into the awarding of honours degrees, mismanagement of funds and other corruption matters.
The probe follows claims made by Fort Hare University Vice-Chancellor Professor Sakhela Buhlungu last month after his bodyguard was shot and killed.
He had said there were investigations into corruption at the university.
Nzimande said he will wait for the SIU to complete its investigation into this.
The question had been asked by the EFF and in a written parliamentary reply Nzimande said his department will not investigate the claims by Buhlungu as the SIU was conducting that probe.
“Accordingly, the fraudulent registration of 15 high-ranking politicians in postgraduate programmes at the University of Fort Hare, which falls within the scope of matters to be investigated by the Special Investigating Unit SIU), will not be investigated by the department. As per the Notice of the investigation (No.R.84) in the Government Gazette No 47199 of 5 August 2022, the SIU investigation will look into the maladministration in the affairs of the university’s Faculty of Public Administration in relation to the awarding of honours degrees; management of funds; and sourcing of public servants for study into various faculty programmes by an individual for personal gain. The department will await the findings of the Special Investigating Unit,” said Nzimande.
Buhlungu survived the shooting when his bodyguard was killed.
The allegations he made about corruption at the university led to calls for intensifying investigations into malfeasance.
Political parties and civil society expressed the hope that government would not let efforts to clean up universities like Fort Hare to go to waste, and that security be provided to Buhlungu.