Bodyguard of University of Fort Hare vice-chancellor shot dead in ‘assassination attempt’
After the shooting, vice-chancellor Professor Sakhela Buhlungu was taken to a 'safe location'.
University of Fort Hare Vice Chancellor, Professor Sakhela Buhlungu during an interview on 24 March 2018 in East London, South Africa. Photo: Gallo Images / Sunday Times / Alaister Russell
Mboneli Vesele, the bodyguard of University of Fort Hare (UFH) vice-chancellor Professor Sakhela Buhlungu, was shot dead on Friday night in what is suspected to have been an assassination attempt.
The University’s spokesperson, JP Roodt, said the shooting took place outside the vice-chancellor’s Alice residence. Buhlungu was unharmed, he added.
Vice-chancellor’s car riddled with bullets
Roodt said Vesele was in the vice-chancellor’s car at the time of the shooting.
“The executive protection officer and security aide to Professor Sakhela Buhlungu was killed after gunfire was opened and sprayed on the vice-chancellor’s university vehicle,” he said.
“Shots were overheard several kilometres away by other executive staff members residing in the Alice staff village.”
Buhlungu taken to ‘safe location’
After the shooting, Buhlungu was moved out of the vice-chancellor’s house.
“The vice-chancellor is unharmed, survived the assassination attempt and is at a safe location.”
The University of Fort Hare said it was aware that photos and videos of the bullet-riddled vehicle were circulating on social media. It urged people not to share this
“Out of respect for Mr. Vesele and his family, and to preserve his dignity, we ask that the UFH community refrains from disseminating these visuals.”
The university’s management has asked for trauma and counselling services to be provided to Vesele’s family. It will also be made available to students and staff.
Several violent attacks
This is not the first attempted assassination of Buhlungu.
In March 2022, a man was captured on CCTV footage climbing over a wall and firing three shots at Buhlungu’s house.
Speaking to TimesLIVE, Roodt said UFH has seen several violent attacks recently after the university started clamping down on corruption.
“Last year, shots were fired into the residence of the deputy vice-chancellor for teaching and learning, Prof Renuka Vithal,” he said.
On May 19 the university’s fleet and transport manager, Petrus Roets, was shot dead in a suspected hit near the Gonubie off-ramp.