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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


Police arrest 15 more people for University of Fort Hare killings

This brings the number of those arrested in this case to 25 suspects.


Police have made a major breakthrough and arrested 15 more people in connection with the killings at the University of Fort Hare (UFH).

Police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe confirmed the national task  assigned with the responsibility of investigating and arresting those responsible for murder and attempted murder cases at the University of Fort Hare arrested the suspects on Sunday.

Arrests

“This brings the number of those arrested in this case to 25 suspects.  The suspects were arrested in various provinces over the Easter weekend including, Gauteng, the Eastern and Western Cape as well as KwaZulu-Natal.

“The fifteen suspects face a string of charges ranging from fraud, corruption, kidnapping, murder and attempted murder.  They are expected to make their first court appearance on Tuesday, 02 April 2024 at the Dimbaza Magistrate’s Court in the Eastern Cape,” Mathe said.

ALSO READ: Fort Hare’s head of investigations joins murder accused

Bheki Cele to attend court

The National Commissioner of the Saps, General Fannie Masemola said the task team will continue to do their work without fear or favour.

“The team has been hard at work in getting to the bottom of who is behind fraud, corruption and the murders at the university. They will continue to investigate and hunt those who are found to have had a hand in any wrongdoing.

“Our focus is to bring before court, a case that will be able to stand in court with all the evidence that has been collected by the team,” Masemola said.

Task team

Police Minister Bheki Cele established a task team in January last year to intensify the police’s response to the recent violent and fatal attacks at UFH.

Cele at the time said Cele the “high-level intervention was necessary and must produce results.”

“The team must work closely with university staff and the intelligence community to crack the cases that will see the “culprits go to jail,” Cele said.

Cele and Masemola are expected to attend court proceedings on Tuesday.

Killings

Richard Vesele, the bodyguard of the university’s vice-chancellor, Professor Sakhele Buhlungu, was killed in a hail of bullets on 6 January 2023.

Three months later, Buhlungu’s second bodyguard was killed in a hit-and-run accident.

The bodyguard who was described as a ‘protector’ was driving a Mercedez Benz on the R63 between Qonce and Alice with three passengers when his vehicle was knocked from the driver’s side by Nissan NP 300. The driver died instantly at the scene.

He was also rumoured to be a crucial witness in the upcoming murder trial of Buhlungu’s first slain bodyguard.

The UFH vice-chancellor has been targeted after the university started clamping down on corruption.

ALSO READ: Fort Hare University killings: Court denies three of five suspects bail

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Crime Murder Police University of Fort Hare (UFH)

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