Fort Hare vice-chancellor’s bodyguard killed in suspected assassination attempt

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University of Fort Hare vice-chancellor Professor Sakhela Buhlungu has been moved to a “safe location” after his bodyguard was gunned down outside the VC’s home in Dikeni, formerly Alice, on Friday night.

The shooting was confirmed by university spokesperson JP Roodt.

The bodyguard was in Buhlungu’s vehicle when the incident happened. Buhlungu had been dropped off at home, just seconds earlier, and was not in the vehicle when the shooting took place.

“The University of Fort Hare confirms a fatal shooting incident outside the official Dikeni residence of the vice-chancellor during the early evening hours of Friday night, ” Roodt told DispatchLIVE.

“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.”

“Shots were overheard several kilometres away by other executive staff members residing in the Dikeni staff village when the incident occurred.

“The vice-chancellor is unharmed, survived the assassination attempt and is at safe location.”

Authorities later discovered the getaway vehicle.

“It has false number plates and is stolen. It was discovered outside Dikeni towards Fort Beaufort.”

This is not the first Buhlungu has been targeted by gunmen.

DispatchLIVE reported in April 2022 that police were investigating two cases of attempted murder after the homes of  Buhlungu and another senior official were fired on by gunmen in March.

A third senior official’s East London home was also attacked on April 1. One of three attackers was captured on camera firing shots at the front door.

Petrus Roets, the university’s fleet and transport manager, was shot dead in  May in a suspected hit near the traffic lights at the Gonubie off-ramp from the national road.

In a letter to staff students, the university offered trauma and counselling and asked said acting deputy vice-chancellor for Institutional Support Dr Nosisa Mayaba has visited the family of the officer to inform them of the tragedy and provide support and announcements on details for a memorial service for be released in due course.

This is a developing story.


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