When Mabuyane makes such a move, especially if he has nothing to hide, he cannot reasonably expect the general public not to be suspicious of him.
We are by no means implying that he is responsible for anything. That is the thing this SIU test means to lay out.
However, a public representative who tries to prevent another branch of the government, particularly law enforcement agencies, from carrying out its duties is a poor example.
Mabuyane has petitioned the Bhisho High Court to challenge a proclamation signed by President Cyril Ramaphosa authorizing the SIU to investigate allegations of mismanagement at the university regarding the granting of degrees.
He thinks that Ramaphosa’s proclamation was wrong and illegal, and it should be looked at and changed. He contends that the president committed an “error of law” by failing to comprehend the scope of the SIU Act’s discretion and powers.
Mabuyane shouldn’t have to worry about this investigation because he has nothing to hide and believes he is innocent.
For the university and its vice chancellor and principal, Professor Sakhela Buhlungu, who has been championing the fight against malfeasance, the sooner the SIU gets to the bottom of the rot at Fort Hare, the better.
Mabuyane would have been the first to rally behind Buhlungu and his team, one would have thought.
They have witnessed the worst this year, including the blatant murder of his guardian outside his home in a suspected hit.
Given the scope of the issues that exist at that institution, it is evident that the individuals who were arrested and charged with the murder of Mboneli Vesele were merely a drop in the ocean. We hope that the SIU investigation will reveal precisely who was plundering this historic university.
Mabuyane’s advisors should have reminded him that fire usually follows smoke. The best exhortation is to utilize his energy assisting the SIU with taking care of its responsibilities, not battle it.
That sends a stressing message in a nation where straightforwardness in government has become unfamiliar.