Minister responds to workers’ request for intervention

The National Tertiary Education Union is pleased that the union’s request for ministerial intervention has borne fruit as the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Dr Blade Nzimande, visits the University of Fort Hare tomorrow. The seeds of which were sown in a letter addressed to the minister requesting urgent intervention in April this year.

The union remains skeptical in council’s preparedness to hold UFH Vice Chancellor, Prof Buhlungu, to account.

“R178 million has been wasted on shady service providers under this VC’s tenure – an indictment on Council’s inability or unwillingness to govern this university. Labor recognizes that strong administrative leadership is required, but Council’s track record leads us to believe that nothing will happen from their side.”, said NTEU General Secretary, Mr Grant Abbott. “It is for this reason that, in our letter to the minister, we requested he implement an independent forensics investigation into all aspects related to the heist of public resources under Buhlungu’s regime.”, Abbott stated.

The union watches expectantly to see if council might be determined culpable in aiding the maleficence at the institution through their decided position of impotence. During the minister’s last visit to UFH he instructed Council to meet with stakeholders, including unions – an instruction the Council simply ignored.

All of the suspects recently arrested in connection with the Fort Hare murder and fraud cases were appointed under the VC’s leadership, once again raising doubts about Prof Buhlungu’s ignorance about the networks of corruption forming around him. With several worker leaders having been dismissed after questioning and challenging suspicious activities at UFH, including our union President’s own dubious dismissal, the current VC has made it clear that he is directly opposed to the spirit of transparency and accountability.

In the letter the union proposed that a ministerial task team be formed, comprised of stakeholders at the university, to aid further investigations as well as to establish the seriousness of the alleged qualification scandal at UFH.


Issued By:

Jako Nel

NTEU Brand & Communications Manager

For media queries: 041 001 2109



NTEU is a politically non-aligned trade union organizing exclusively in the Higher Education sector and is aligned to FEDUSA, the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa. For more information on the National Tertiary Education Union, visit or find us on social media.