Investigators urged to leave no stone unturned in finding perpetrators at Fort Hare University

Published Apr 12, 2023


The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) said it welcomed the arrest of five people suspected of killing Petrus Roets.

Roets was a fleet manager at Fort Hare University, and Prof Sakhela Buhlungu’s bodyguard, Mboneli Vesele, were killed.

It is speculated that the hit that killed Vesele was also meant to kill Prof Sakhela.

During the mayhem, a hit-list was reported in the media, which showed that managers of the University of Fort Hare who were (and are still) fighting corruption were targeted.

In the wake of these reports and Vesele’s death, Saftu called for special protection of Buhlungu and his colleagues who were in danger for daring to uproot corruption and return Fort Hare to its glory days, administratively and academically.

“The arrest of suspects delights us. We call on the police to leave no stone unturned. They must continue with investigations and arrest not only the killers but the top villains who planned the assassination of Vesele and Roets and who were/are planning to kill twenty others mentioned on the hit list,” said Saftu General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

He further said: “Our fight against corruption has to be consistent and relentless, drawing on the support of the civil society and the resourcing of corruption fighting agencies such the Special Investigating Unit and the SAPS. From Fort Hare University, the SAPS and SIU must be hot on the heels of other corrupt lootists across the institutions of higher learning”.

The police ministry also welcomed the breakthrough in the murder and attempted murder investigations.

On Tuesday, five men (some in top positions at the university and one a former student) appeared for the first time before the Alice Magistrate’s Court.

Police arrested suspects over the long weekend. They are facing charges of murder, attempted murder, fraud and corruption. Additional charges for two of the accused are related to the possession of firearms and ammunition.

Police Minister Bheki Cele, who attended the court proceedings, 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 with the institution.

The five remained in custody. They are expected to formally apply for bail on 4 May 2023.

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