Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande has been interdicted by the Council of the University of South Africa (Unisa) against placing the institution under administration.
Nzimande had earlier this week served a notice of his intention to place Unisa under administration, and was expected to declare his decision on Friday.
Granted just hours before his announcement, a draft order by the North Gauteng High Court declared that Nzimande’s notice of intention was in breach of an order granted by Mr Justice Adams on 24 August 2023.
“The minister is ordered to withdraw the notice forthwith upon the granting of this order,” it stated.
Nzimande was also ordered to “immediately cease and desist from taking any steps to publish and implement the notice, or to take any steps of whatever nature to implement the notice”.
Nzimande was also ordered to pay costs.
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In August, Nzimande gave the Unisa council seven days to explain why the institution should not be placed under administration.
Nzimande’s spokesperson, Ishmael Mnisi, said Nzimande delayed making his decision on mutual agreement that the written representations be extended to 4 September 2023.
“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, instead the council is going about its business as if there is no pending decision to be taken.
“As a result, the minister cannot wait indefinitely without taking a decision,” Mnisi said.
Nzimande’s intention to place the university under administration follows the reports of independent assessor Professor Themba Mosia and the Ministerial Task Team (MTT) on Unisa, Chaired by Dr Vincent Maphai.
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