Nzimande Disappointed With Unisa Taking Legal Action

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South Africa's largest university was set to be placed under administration. However, the courts prevented the higher education minister from placing the institution under the control of an administrator. 


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The Minister of Higher Education and Training, Blade Nzimande, expressed concern when the University of South Africa (Unisa) council resorted to legal action to prevent the institution from coming under administration.

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

Unisa welcomed the High Court Order that prevented Minister Nzimande from placing the university under administration. The university firmly held its position that the independent report was fundamentally flawed.

Ishmael Mnisi, the Higher Education spokesperson, stated that the minister was frustrated with the council's decision to take legal action, as they believe the council does not fully grasp the seriousness of the issues facing the university.

They emphasise that Unisa's council had sufficient time to address the reports but failed to adequately respond to the concerns raised. The minister has requested a court date for a hearing to decide Unisa's future, which may involve 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 hardships for students.

Impact of Administrator Appointment at Unisa

Mnisi says the minister wants to assure students that the department understands their frustrations and is diligently working to proceed with the legal process. Students are encouraged to continue preparing for their exams and not be discouraged 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. 

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