Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane on Thursday confirmed that University of Fort Hare (UFH) had formally deregistered him as a student following the resignation of controversial Nigerian economics professor Edwin Ijeoma.
Mabuyane was being directly supervised by Ijeoma for his Master of Administration degree.
The former UFH professor had also been supervisor to axed health MEC who was registered from a postgraduate degree in public administration following claims that she had been granted admission without having a junior degree nor submitting a portfolio of work.
“I would like to confirm that indeed I received a letter from the university which states that the Senate has approved a Faculty of Management and Commerce recommendation to exclude and deregister me as a student of the institution, reportedly following a review conducted in respect of students who were supervised by Professor Edwin Ijeoma.”
“I would also like to confirm that this is the first time that the university has communicated to me about this matter,” said Mabuyane in a statement.
“I would like to express my serious concerns and dissatisfaction regarding the fact that I was neither informed that there was a process of reviewing my enrolment at the university, nor was I afforded an opportunity to make representations on a process that might have an adverse effect on me.”
“It is also worrying that a student could be excluded and deregistered from the university on the basis that their supervisor was under investigation. My understanding is that the admission of a student is done following extensive selection and admission processes and that no single individual in the university has the authority to admit students, and if that’s the case, it is cause for concern.”
“Nonetheless, it is on this basis that I have requested the university to provide me with reasons for their decision and thus expressed my intention to appeal the Senate outcomes, including a possible judicial review if needs be.”
The premier appealed for the media and public to allow the process to unfold and signalled that he would be making no further comment while reiterating his “committed to the fight against corruption and fraud”.
UFH yesterday confirmed that two students had been formally deregistered but refused to confirm their identities.
“The university cannot, and will not divulge details, particulars or names of the deregistered students,” UFH said, adding the two could reapply for admission to their respective programmes “once they demonstrate they meet the minimum requirements,” UFH said.