Unisa’s Fate Hangs In Balance After Court Ruling Halts Appointment Of Administrator

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For months, Unisa has been at the centre of controversy over a report that exposed alleged maladministration and poor financial management. Since then, Minister Blade Nzimande’s has attempted to place Unisa under administration, but these efforts have been consistently halted. 


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The University of South Africa (Unisa), has been under scrutiny for a few months now, since Professor Themba Mosia published an independent report exposing the institution for maladministration and other malfeasances. These issues have been said to cost the institution millions of rands and resulted in ongoing instability.

Since the publishing of this report, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Blade Nzimande, has set out to put the university under administration in hopes to resolve some of the prevailing issues that the university faces. However, Unisa has since been able to get a court ruling that prevents the minister’s appointment of an administrator.

Ishmael Mnisi, the Media Liaison Officer for Minister Nzimande, said that despite the severity of the allegations being lodged against Unisa, the ministry believes that the Unisa council “do not appreciate the seriousness of the situation, whilst Unisa is continuously having challenges.” Since the court ruling, the minister has written to the court to secure a date for Unisa’s hearing.

According to the South African Students Congress (Sasco), the uncertainty has the potential to cause anxiety to, and have financial repercussions on its students. The ministry shares that they understand the students’ frustrations, but urge them to not allow this situation to distract them from their exam preparations, saying:

This will pass, and Unisa will stand up again.

The ministry assures that an appointed administrator is not intended to make immediate changes to the university’s basic management. All that they are meant to do once appointed, is to implement the necessary recommendations based on the reports. 

They do not anticipate any destabilisation of the institution when the administrator is appointed, and rather hope to see stabilisation. However, these changes cannot be made as long as a hearing date is not set.

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Unisa campus

The recent decision by the Department of Higher Education to place the University of South Africa (Unisa) under administration has sparked outrage and opposition from various quarters, including university staff members and the institution's council. 


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