The police ministry welcomes the breakthrough in the investigations into murder and attempted murder at the University of Fort Hare in the Eastern Cape. The ministry is also encouraged that the investigation team is investigating corruption-related attacks at the university.
Rhewal reported earlier senior employees of Fort Hare University in the Eastern Cape are among the five suspects who appeared in court on Tuesday on charges of murder and corruption. It is not yet known how many of the suspects were employed at the university and what positions they held.
Lirandzu Themba, spokesperson for the Ministry of Police, says the team is investigating the murder of Vice-Chancellor Prof. Sakhela Buhlungu’s manager and bodyguard, Mboneni Vesele.
Vesele was shot dead in the Buhlungo’s vehicle in February 2023.
The team also investigates the murder of the institution’s fleet manager, Petrus Roets. Roets was shot dead in March last year.
The team is also investigating attempted assassinations of several other staff members of the university.
“Five men appeared in the Alice Magistrates Court for the first time on Tuesday for their role in the series of attacks on staff at Fort Hare University, including the two murders,” says Themba.
The police arrested the five men over the long weekend. They stand trial on charges of murder, attempted murder, fraud and corruption. Two of the accused are also facing charges related to the possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Meanwhile, Buhlungu welcomed the breakthrough on behalf of the management of the university. However, the university is shocked by the news that some of the accused are former and current employees of the university.
One of the accused is a former student council member. He later became a businessman who was appointed by the university as a service provider.
Police Minister Bheki Cele and the National Police Commissioner, Fannie Masemola, attended the court proceedings on Tuesday.
They warned the investigating officers to leave no stone unturned to connect all the dots and trace all those responsible for the series of attacks on staff members of the university.
The five accused are expected to formally apply for bail on May 4. They remain in custody.
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