President Cyril Ramaphosa has lashed out at Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane for dragging him to court and giving him ‘literally one night’ to respond to an urgent High Court application to stop the SIU’s investigation into allegations that Mabuyane may be complicit in academic fraud at the University of Fort Hare.

Daily Dispatch report notes Ramaphosa is cited as a respondent to the application because he signed the proclamation authorising the SIU to investigate maladministration and corruption at UFH.

The SIU included in its investigation allegations that Mabuyane was himself complicit in possible unethical conduct in his admission to the university’s Master’s programme in Public Administration.

The Premier amended his application at the last moment, deciding that, instead of seeking to interdict the entire investigation, he would ask the court to interdict the investigation only in so far as it applied to him.

Ramaphosa said that, as a result of the initial application and then the late amendments, he had literally only one night (Thursday night) to prepare an answering affidavit.

This meant he did not feel he had been given time to deal with the matter.

Ramaphosa said Mabuyane had failed to prove any of the legal requirements for an interim interdict. He said even a temporary halting of his Presidential powers in this particular case would constitute an ‘impermissible intrusion’ into my executive functions.

In issuing the proclamation, the President said he had acted in a ‘bona fide and lawful manner’ in accordance with the information provided, and that he could never have known that Mabuyane would become part of the investigation.

The proclamation simply covered investigations concerning serious maladministration in respect of procurement, awarding of degrees, management of funds and enrolment of students.

He said Mabuyane’s urgent application should be struck from the roll or refused with costs.

Full Daily Dispatch report