UCT condemns deadly Fort Hare attack

12 January 2023 | Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng

Dear colleagues and students

The higher education sector started the year on a devastating note following the fatal shooting of University of Fort Hare (UFH)’s executive protection officer, Mr Mboneni Vesele, and attempted assassination of the university’s vice-chancellor, Professor Sakhela Buhlungu.

Mr Vesele was tragically killed on the evening of Friday, 6 January 2023 in what is alleged to have been an attack intended for Professor Buhlungu, who is a former Dean of Humanities at the University of Cape Town (UCT).

As the UCT community we are disturbed by this and I am sure you will join me in conveying our heartfelt condolences to Mr Vesele’s family, colleagues and all who were close to him. We are keeping them all in our thoughts following the loss of their loved one.

We also condemn the violent attack, which has no place in society. We cannot be living in a society where being a vice-chancellor – or any university employee for that matter – translates into one endangering their own lives. South Africa is subjected to various types of corruption, which is now encroaching into the higher education sector, to an extent where those taking a firm stand against it become targets of violent attacks.

We stand with Professor Buhlungu and the UFH community in this difficult period. We urge law enforcement authorities to spare no effort in ensuring that the perpetrators behind this brutal and deadly incident are apprehended as speedily as possible and face the full might of the law.


Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

Read previous communications:

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Please view the republishing articles page for more information.