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News: Police Ministry encouraged by escalated police investigations into Fort Hare murders and threats

Media Statement
Issued by the Police Ministry

The Police Ministry has assured the management of Fort Hare University, that police are intensifying their responses to the recent violent and fatal attacks that have taken place in and around the university.

The Ministry has welcomed the heightened policing interventions by the South African Police Service (SAPS) to find those responsible for a series of attacks on University staff, which have claimed two lives.

Following a visit to the province on Wednesday 11 January 2023, led by the Minister of Police General Bheki Cele, Deputy Minister of State Security Zizi Kodwa and the National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Fannie Masemola, a multi-disciplinary team has been established to closely investigate the pattern of threats on the lives of the staff members of the institution.

The team which will report directly to the office of the National Commissioner, is expected to commence its investigations into the murder of Mboneni Vesele who was killed over the weekend.

Mr Vesele was a close protector and driver of Fort Hare University Vice Chancellor, Professor Sakhela Buhlungu, he was killed while inside the Professors vehicle. 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.

Minister Cele says 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.”

The multi-disciplinary team will include Detectives, Forensic analysts, Crime Intelligence, members of organised crime and Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI).

“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. This is why the team must work closely with University staff and the intelligence community to crack the cases that will see the culprits go to jail. This, I am sure will guarantee that this respected institution is not turned into a killing field,” Cele concluded.

The high level team of Security Cluster ministers and the SAPS management on Wednesday 11 January 2023, paid a comfort visit to the bereaved family of the slain protector, Mr Vesele. The delegation also met with the Vice Chancellor of Fort Hare University, Professor Sakhela Buhlungu, who expressed his appreciation for ramped up police response from the National office, to prevent combat and investigate crime within the institution.


Lirandzu Themba
Police Ministry Spokesperson
082 604 9080



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