Qualification Fraud-Accused Premier Mabuyane to Deliver King Sabata Dalindyebo Academic Lecture

ActionSA is surprised at the irony, if not hypocrisy, of Premier Oscar Mabuyane accepting an invitation to deliver an academic lecture in honour of the late His Royal Highness, King Sabata Dalindyebo’s 5th memorial lecture in at the KSD TVET College in Mthatha this evening.

We have previously called for the Premier’s resignation following a forensic report commissioned by the University of Fort Hare, which exposed attempts to obtain a fraudulent PhD in Public Administration. The report alleges that Mabuyane’s masters degree was fraudulently obtained through a bogus research proposal, in collaboration with a certain professor and a team of ghost writers.

While Mabuyane sought and secured an interdict to halt the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) probe into his qualifications scandal, we note that this is based on a technical argument aimed at stopping the probe, rather than an effort to exonerate or prove his innocence. As the head of a provincial government, Premier Mabuyane should lead by example and champion the Rule of Law and support the SIU’s probe, especially if he has nothing to fear. This however is sadly not the style of his party or its leaders, theirs is to fudge, smudge and subvert the rule of law.

The irony of Mabuyane’s planned delivery of this lecture will be tainted by a cloud of alleged falsehood and implied unethical conduct. Furthermore, the impact of this scandal extends beyond the individual, reaching the very credibility of what was an esteemed institution from which he claims to have obtained his “degrees”.

Historically, the University of Fort Hare has stood as a beacon of academic excellence, producing graduates who have gone on to make indelible marks on the socio-political landscape of not just South Africa but of the entire African continent. Its distinguished alumni include iconic figures such as Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki, Robert Sobukwe, and Mangosuthu Buthelezi in South Africa, and many other African leaders. It is a shame and a sham that Mabuyane is allowed to present this memorial lecture under this cloud of controversy.

The recent scandal threatens to cast a shadow over the university’s illustrious history and has added to the diminishing trust and credibility it has earned over the years. This erosion of trust could have profound implications for the qualifications of today’s generation of students who seek to carry on the legacy of Fort Hare’s distinguished alumni. The scandal may prompt a reassessment of the institution’s academic integrity and the thoroughness of its credential verification procedures, impacting the perceived value of degrees earned by current and future students.

ActionSA believes that this situation reflects a broader issue in South Africa, where unethical leadership and unqualified public servants hinder the country’s progress. Similarly, the Eastern Cape has been failing under Mabuyane’s leadership, marked by an alarming crime rate and a staggering 70% youth unemployment—not to mention the recent Public Protector and Human Rights Commission Report during his current tenure.