The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) condemns attempts to kill Fort Hare’s vice-chancellor, Professor Sakhela Buhlungu, and calls for special police protection of the vice-chancellor and his university executives, whose lives are in danger for daring to fight and uproot corruption at the University.
The recent attempt at Prof Buhlungu’s life ended the life of his protection officer in the most horrific and barbaric fashion. We condemn his murder and extend our condolences to his family and loved ones.
The endeavours to clean corruption at Fort Hare University are important especially because the university was put under administration from corruption that crippled its smooth running. In order for the university to get back on track and ran smoothly, it requires all the rotten elements to be cleansed, and for crooks to be arrested.
It is the responsibility of government to ensure that bulwarks against corruption like Prof Buhlungu are supported and protected. The plans and efforts to clean Fort Hare should not be allowed to be derailed by interest bearing thugs. The success to clean Fort Hare’s corruption and have those leading and benefiting from it in prison will set a precedence and give courage to other functionaries in other institutions who are fighting the same monster.
Reports have emerged from several universities about institutional captures that have rocked and wrecked universities and colleges, putting them in webs of corrupt managers, business-people and some politicians. These institutional captures are then used to channel resources to these syndicates through procurement and outsourcing.
So, any leader of these universities who fight corruption is by implication tempering with these networks and closing their sources of looting resources.
Therefore, SAFTU is not surprised by attempts to kill Prof Buhlungu and any leader who dares fight corruption in these institutions as these syndicates fight to defend the sources of their opulent lifestyles. But desperate attempts by corrupt syndicates should not deter efforts to fight corruption at all levels, hence Prof Buhlungu and his colleagues must be protected at all costs.
We call on President Cyril Ramaphosa to guarantee the life of Prof Buhlungu and his fellow managers at Fort Hare, and in other universities and colleges, who are confronted with these thieving monsters.