Maverick Citizen


Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane wins interdict forcing SIU to back down, pending judicial review

Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane wins interdict forcing SIU to back down, pending judicial review
Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane immediately after being elected at the ANC conference. 09 May 2022. Photo: Felix Dlangamandla/Daily Maverick

Eastern Cape premier and the ANC chairperson in that province, Oscar Mabuyane, has won a provisional interdict to stop the Special Investigating Unit from probing his attempt to obtain a masters’ degree at Fort Hare University pending a judicial review of the proclamation that authorised the investigation.

The Bhisho High Court issued a provisional interdict on Tuesday morning ordering the Special Investigating Unit to exclude Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane from its investigation at Fort Hare University.

Provisional interdicts cannot be appealed and it will remain in place until the outcome of a judicial review of the proclamation signed by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Mabuyane has been implicated in the academic fraud part of the probe through evidence that he was enrolled for a master’s degree in public administration at Fort Hare without having obtained an honours degree. His enrolment was later cancelled. In papers before court it was explained that Professor Edwin Ijeoama – who was arrested in 2021 for running an enrolment scam at the university – and master’s students had drawn up a research proposal on Mabuyane’s behalf, with very little input from the premier. 

Mabuyane brought an urgent application to stop the probe against him after the SIU indicated that it wanted to search his home and wanted him to produce a number of documents including his identity document and his academic transcripts. 

Finding Oscar by janet on Scribd

His counsel, Tembeka Ngcukaitobi SC, argued that the SIU had no power to investigate Mabuyane. The premier emphasised that he supported the probe but not so far as to include him. He said he had offered his full cooperation to the SIU.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Politicians’ qualification scandals within a forever wounded education system – it’s complex and complicated

Mabuyane’s legal team argued that the SIU was malicious, but Judge Thandi Norman found that there was no evidence to support anything beyond “overzealousness”.

She did rule that a judicial review of the proclamation signed by President Cyril Ramaphosa “may find” that it was unjust to include an investigation into Mabuyane’s academic record as this was not expressly authorised by the proclamation. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Terril Scott says:

    Needs time to destroy incriminating evidence and subvert (one way or another) witnesses.

  • Johan Buys says:

    if I obtained my degrees properly, I certainly would not go to the trouble of preventing an investigation into how I obtained them. I’d cooperate to save time and money. Do judges not consider crude logic? Why does the SIU need a presidential decree to investigate anything – fraud is fraud, anybody can lay a charge, including the province that employed this man.

  • Pet Bug says:

    So much for judicial no fear or favour doctrine.
    We need to fast track an independent SIU that can investigate suspicious actions without the president of the country having to give directives, and micro manage what needs attention.
    So will spineless CR issue this investigation with the cheat’s name and ID correctly captured?

  • Henry Henry says:

    Only the SIU has been interdicted – on the basis of the legality and width of its proclamation.
    But the elephant in the room is that the SAPD, and its detectives, have not been interdicted and cannot be interdicted. They can do their own investigation and submit the docket to Balohi & Co.

  • Soil Merchant says:

    He has every right to interdict the SIU – but, where there’s smoke there’s fire; if you have nothing to hide, then you wouldn’t feel that your rights were being abused.

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