Plans to place Unisa under administration
The university's council has seven days to provide reasons why the institution should not be placed under administration.
A report by an independent assessor picked up issues of gross maladministration, bullying, tender manipulation and the abuse of funds at the university. Picture: Supplied
The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, has given the University of South Africa (UNISA) council seven days to provide reasons why the institution should not be placed under administration.
Nzimande wrote to the university’s council chairperson, James Maboa, on 4 August, of his intention to appoint an administrator to the embattled university
The decision follows reports by an independent assessor, Professor Themba Mosia and the Ministerial Task Team (MTT) on Unisa, chaired by Dr Vincent Maphai.
The damning report picked up issues of gross maladministration, bullying, tender manipulation, and the abuse of funds at Unisa.
The Department of Higher Education spokesperson, Ishmael Mnisi, said Nzimande intends to exercise his powers in terms of Section 49B of the Higher Education Act, 101 of 1997, which empowers him to appoint an administrator.
“Minister Nzimande is satisfied the independent assessor’s report reveals financial and other maladministration of a serious nature which affects the effective functioning of Unisa,” said Mnisi.
“The Ministerial Task Team conducted an independent review of Unisa’s ‘mission drift’, which had massive implications for the financial sustainability and future of Unisa. The minister has allowed the Unisa council to make written representations to him within seven days of receipt of his letter.”
Mnisi said in terms of Section 49E of the Higher Education Act, the Council of Unisa will be dissolved upon the appointment of an administrator.
Nzimande’s decision comes after an application brought by the university’s former registrar, Professor Steward Mothata, on 20 June in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to declare the council no longer “properly constituted” after the resignation of several members.
Mothata was fired by vice-chancellor Professor Puleng LenkaBula on 27 June following his suspension for breaching the code of ethics and conduct.