The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) says it is considering its options after the Bhisho High Court handed down an order interdicting the unit from investigating Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane’s alleged irregular enrolment into the University of Fort Hare’s Master’s in Public Administration programme.
The premier took the corruption fighting unit to court in a two part bid to, firstly, halt the entire investigation into the university’s affairs in terms of a proclamation ordered by President Cyril Ramaphosa and secondly, to halt a probe into his qualifications.
“In terms of the order, the SIU is interdicted from enforcing Proclamation R 84 of 2022 authorising the Unit to investigate allegations of maladministration in the affairs of Fort Hare University on matters relating to Premier Mabuyane.
“The investigation relating to Premier Mabuyane is interdicted pending the determination of Part B, which deals with the merits of the case in as far as the admission into and awarding of Master’s degree.
“The SIU has studied the judgment and is happy that it does not interdict or suspends the Fort Hare University investigation in its entirety. We are also optimistic that we will present our case when Part B of this matter is heard,” the SIU stated.
In her judgement, Judge Thandi Norman highlighted that the SIU can in future write to the President to request a proclamation to probe the university’s Masters programme.
“Where there is evidence that implicates unlawful conduct in so far as the Master’s degree is concerned, there is nothing stopping the SIU from preparing a motivation as it did with the earlier Proclamation and request the President to proclaim that the registration for Master’s degree, too, should be investigated,” Judge Norman said.