Avatar photo

By Marizka Coetzer


Unisa’s legal battle against administration decision worries students

Unisa spokesperson Tommy Huma said the university welcomed the court order that interdicts Nzimande from placing the university under administration.

Students are worried about the future of their studies after the University of South Africa (Unisa) obtained a court order to have Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande withdraw his notice of intention to place Unisa under administration.

This follows an urgent high court application by Unisa’s council on Thursday after Nzimande indicated his intention to announce his final decision about the administration.

ALSO READ: Nzimande serves notice to place Unisa under administration

Unisa spokesperson Tommy Huma said the university welcomed the court order that interdicts Nzimande from placing the university under administration.

“The order reaffirms the earlier order by Judge Leicester Adams on 24 August, which was handed down on 6 October and is effective immediately,” he said.

Report on Unisa ‘fundamentally flawed’

Huma said Unisa has always maintained that the report of the independent assessor was fundamentally flawed, and its recommendations misplaced.

ALSO READ: Nzimande interdicted from placing Unisa under administration

“Unisa also believes that the institution of an administration is not necessary and may only serve to harm the university,” he said.

A student said studying part-time was overwhelming but even more so when Unisa’s website didn’t work.

“It’s stressful. The website always has issues, especially when you need to submit assignments or exam scripts,” she said.

Former student Aletta Labuschagne said she has been waiting for her certificate of completion for 13 years with no luck. She said she had always been asked if the copy she had of the completion of her course was fake.

ALSO READ: Plans to place Unisa under administration

“It’s the only proof I have that I completed a course in customer services,” she said.

‘Best interest’

Higher education spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi said Nzimande delayed making his decision on mutual agreement that the period of the written representations be extended to 4 September.

ALSO READ: How would administration affect students? Department speaks

“Being mindful of the legal and administrative requirements, the minister awaited the response of the Unisa council and nothing of substance happened for more than a month. As a result, the minister cannot wait indefinitely without taking a decision,” he said.

Mnisi said the minister’s intention to place Unisa under administration follows the reports of an independent assessor, Prof Themba Mosia, and the ministerial task team chaired by Dr Vincent Maphai.

“The minister is satisfied the independent assessor’s report reveals financial and other maladministration of a serious nature and serious undermining of the effective functioning of Unisa,” he said.

“The report also reveals the appointment of an administrator is in the best interest of Unisa and of higher education in an open and democratic society.”

NOW READ: Nzimande says courts being used to ‘curtail’ his executive authority

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits