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Minister Nzimande Abandons Bid to Administer Unisa



Minister Nzimande Abandons Bid to Administer Unisa

Minister Nzimande Abandons Bid to Administer Unisa. Blade Nzimande, the Minister of Higher Education and Technology, faced a setback in his attempt to place the University of South Africa (Unisa) under administration. The latest development involves the withdrawal of the Government Gazette notice that initially conveyed Nzimande’s intentions to the public.

Unisa Court Defeat and Withdrawal

This withdrawal comes in the wake of a recent court defeat, where Nzimande was directed not to proceed with placing the university under administration. The court’s decision was prompted by ongoing legal challenges to the report on which Nzimande based his administration decision.

Unisa Reaction

Responding to Nzimande’s decision, Unisa expressed support for the withdrawal. The university emphasized the correctness of the Minister’s action in light of the Pretoria High Court’s order on October 6, 2023. Unisa views this as an affirmation of the importance of upholding the authority of the courts and the rule of law.

Unisa Minister’ Statement

Ishmael Mnisi, spokesperson for Minister Nzimande, provided limited details on the reasons for the withdrawal. Mnisi stated, “The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, has withdrawn the Government Notice No. 4015 published in Government Gazette No. 49582 Vol 700 on 27 October 2023, that announced the decision to appoint an administrator for the University of South Africa.”

Unisa Court Directive

The Pretoria High Court had explicitly ordered Nzimande to retract the Government Gazette notice without delay. This notice had initially declared the appointment of former University of Johannesburg vice-chancellor Professor Ihron Rensburg as the administrator for Unisa following the dissolution of its council.

Unisa Court Ruling on Previous Decision

Last month, Nzimande decision to place Unisa under administration was ruled to be in violation of a prior court order issued by Judge Leicester Adams on August 24. The court had instructed Nzimande not to act on the recommendations of the independent assessor Prof Themba Mosia’s report until two separate legal challenges were concluded. The report had highlighted instances of maladministration within Unisa.

Unisa Nzimande Reaction

In response to the court’s decision, Nzimande acknowledged the order related to the publication of the Government Gazette on the appointment of an administrator. He indicated his intention to study the ruling and determine the next legal course of action.


Minister Blade Nzimande withdrew plans to administer Unisa following a court defeat. Unisa welcomed the decision, emphasizing the importance of upholding the rule of law. The Pretoria High Court had directed Nzimande to retract the Government Gazette notice promptly.

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