COSATU Eastern Cape condemns the ruthless killing of Mr Mboneli Vesele and attempt on Professor Sakhela Buhlungu’s life

The Congress of South African Trade Unions in the Eastern Cape is deeply shocked and saddened by the ruthless killing of Mr Mboneli Vesele, an employee of the University of Fort Hare (UFH), who was the Executive Protector to the university’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Sakhela Buhlungu on 6 January 2023.

The shooting incident that led to the death of Mr Vesele took place at the height of the renewal and repositioning of the Fort Hare University in an endeavour to reclaim its rightful position as a prestigious university synonymous with clean governance and sound administration. Mr Vesele was a dedicated worker who devoted himself to perform his tasks diligently, and his killing is a sad loss.

Circumstances surrounding his killing cannot be separated from the attempts on the life of the Vice Chancellor, Professor Sakhela Buhlungu who he was charged with the responsibility to protect. COSATU views the incidents as an attempt to dampen Professor Sakhela Buhlungu’s combative spirit in re-inculcating good governance with fighting corruption being at the heart of the renewal agenda he is spearheading.

COSATU believes that this shooting incident is not isolated from the one where Mr Petrus Roets was gunned down in Gonubie in May 2022. At the time of his death, he was the university’s Fleet and Transport Manager. COSATU pledges unwavering support to Vice Chancellor, Professor Buhlungu and his team in pursuit of renewal at the university

As COSATU, we align ourselves with those calling for SAPS and other Law Enforcement Agencies to leave no stone unturned in unearthing those involved in the attack and let them face the full might of the law. Swift apprehending of the culprit/s is necessary in ensuring that the renewal agenda at the University of Fort Hare is not side-tracked.

We call upon government to ensure that the Vesele family and others who may have been adversely affected by the shooting incident receive psycho-social support.

We extend our sincere deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the Vesele family, friends, colleagues and entire University of Fort Hare community.

Issued by COSATU Eastern Cape


Mkhawuleli Maleki

COSATU Provincial Secretary

Mobile: 082 339 5482