Concerns continue to be raised in South African higher education circles that students are not performing academically as they can and should, resulting in low through-put and poor retention rates (Hersh & Merrow, 2005; Pandor, 2007; DoE, 2008; EDUCATOR’S VOICE; MacGregor, 2009) . This mixed methods case study, using the General Model of Instructional Communication (McCroskey, Valencic, & Richmond, 2004), is an investigation of the lecturers’ and their students’ perceptions of lecturers’ instructional communication (IC), with specific focus on lecturer immediacy, clarity and credibility. These perceptions were further analysed to establish the extent to which they reflect lecturers’ instructional competence. Triangulation of data sets was conducted after seven lecturers had been interviewed and observed (eCOVE software and video) and questionnaires were administered to 252 first year students, enrolled for a communications course. Data were stored and analysed through the Dictate Express software, WEFT QDAS (text) and the Statistical Programme for the Social Sciences (SPSS) (numeric). The use of multiple data sources and analytic methods helped to improve the reliability and validity of the study. Analysis of the perceptions revealed that although the lecturers were perceived to be verbally and nonverbally immediate, they were also perceived to be unclear in their presentation, although credible in the eyes of their students. These negative behaviours have the potential to affect students’ learning adversely, and so potentially reduce students’ academic success. The lecturers were also found to be inconsistently competent, pedagogically and professionally. Recommendations at practical and policy levels, aimed at ameliorating lecturers’ communication and instructional skills during instruction, have been made while further research could review existing instruments, interventions and assess student performance.