Higher Education Minister Dr Blade Nzimande has been forced to withdraw the Government Gazette notice to place Unisa under administration.
THE MINISTER of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, has withdrawn the Government Gazette notice to place Unisa under administration.
This comes after the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, ruling on Friday that ordered the minister to overturn his decision following Unisa’s court interdict against the move.
“The minister has withdrawn the Government Notice No 4015 published in Government Gazette No 49582 Vol 700 on 27 October 2023, which announced the decision to appoint an administrator for Unisa,” department spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi said in a statement.
The court found that the decision to appoint an administrator for the embattled institution was unlawful and in breach of previous court orders.
Nzimande had placed Unisa under administration and appointed former University of Johannesburg Vice-Chancellor Professor Ihron Rensburg as Unisa administrator.
Early this year, a report by an independent assessor, professor Themba Mosia, indicated that Unisa had been plagued by a series of maladministration challenges including instances of corruption and supply chain challenges.
The report also accused the Unisa council and its VC Professor Puleng LenkaBula of poor management, maladministration and displaying an authoritarian management style which resulted in the advent of a culture of fear, intimidation and bullying.
Last month, LenkaBula challenged the report and the appointment of the administrator through the court.
The university also argued against the suitability of Mosia as the legitimate person to compile the report, adding that the minister’s decision was “premature in light of pending matters before the courts”.
“The university remains firm on the view that the minister’s announcement is premature and in contempt of the court order of 6 October 2023 by Justice Kooverjie, that interdicted him (the minister) from placing the university under administration.
“The same order reaffirms the earlier order of Justice Adams of 24 August 2023, which ordered the minister not to take any decision pending the finalisation of the interdict application by Unisa (Case Number 2023-082535) and the minister’s undertaking not to take any decision until the application to review and set aside the Independent Assessor’s report would have been heard. This matter has not been finalised and is still before the court,” Unisa said.