Minister Frustrated By Unisa Taking Legal Action To Avoid Being Placed Under Administration

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South Africa’s largest university was set to be placed under administration last week. However, legal action launched by the institution's council prevented this from happening much to the concern of Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande.


The Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande expressed concern after the University of South Africa (Unisa) council took legal action to prevent the institution from being placed under administration

The council sought a court order to halt this process due to concerns raised in two reports: one by an independent assessor, Prof Themba Mosia, and another by a ministerial task team, which both identified serious allegations of financial and maladministration problems at Unisa.

Unisa welcomed the High Court Order that interdicted Minister Nzimande from placing the university under administration. The university has maintained its stance that the independent report was fundamentally flawed.

Higher Education spokesperson, Ishmael Mnisi says the minister expressed his frustration with the council's decision to take legal action, as he believes they do not fully comprehend the gravity of the issues facing the university. 

They emphasise that Unisa’s council had ample time to respond to the reports but did not adequately address the concerns raised. The minister has requested a court date for a hearing to proceed with the decision regarding Unisa's future, which may include appointing an administrator.

There are serious allegations that are being raised in those reports and we wanted the council to respond to them and unfortunately they did but the Minister’s view is that they do not appreciate the seriousness of the situation whilst Unisa is continuously having challenges

The delay in resolving this issue has raised concerns among the student body, particularly the South African Students Congress (SASCO), as it could lead to anxiety and financial repercussions for students. 

Impact of Administrator Appointment At Unisa

Mnisi says the minister wants to reassure students that the department understands their frustrations and is working diligently to move forward with the legal process. Students are encouraged to continue preparing for their exams and not be deterred by the ongoing situation.

Regarding the impact of the administration on classes and exams, the minister explains that the administrator's role will primarily focus on implementing the recommendations from the reports. 

The appointment of an administrator is not expected to disrupt the day-to-day management of the institution or affect current planning processes. Instead, it aims to bring stability to the university and address issues related to registration, exam scheduling, and management disputes. 

The administrator's appointment is seen as a step toward resolving these challenges rather than causing further disruption according to the higher education minister. 

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Unisa campus

South Africa's largest university was set to be placed under administration after the Higher Education Minister declared his intension. However, a high court decision prevented the minister from announcing his final decision. 


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