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Retraction Process Initiated for UNISA Administrator Appointment

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Retraction Process Initiated for UNISA Administrator Appointment

Retraction Process Initiated for UNISA Administrator Appointment. South Africa’s Department of Higher Education and Training is actively engaged in the process of retracting the appointment of an administrator at the University of South Africa, aligning with a recent court judgment.

Background Court Ruling and Contravention

In a ruling on November 1st, Judge André le Grange from the Pretoria High Court mandated the Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande, to rescind his directive dated October 27th, appointing former University of Johannesburg vice-chancellor Ihron Rensburg as Unisa’s administrator.

The judge found this appointment to be in direct violation of an August 24th judgment, which ordered the minister to delay appointing an administrator pending a legal review of an independent assessment from May.

The assessment revealed mismanagement, financial irregularities, and academic malpractice at Unisa, recommending the institution be placed under administration—a recommendation contested by Unisa.

Minister Response and Unlawful Appointment

The spokesperson for Minister Nzimande, Ishmael Mnisi, stated on November 8th that the retraction of the government gazette is undergoing a meticulous process, with the department committed to its publication. Judge Le Grange declared Rensburg’s appointment unlawful, emphasizing that it directly contradicted the August 24th judgment. The judge expressed concern that allowing such disregard for court orders would undermine the proper functioning and authority of the courts.

Minister Consideration and Unisa’s Response

In response to the court order, Minister Nzimande acknowledged it on November 1st, stating he would study the ruling and determine the next legal steps.

Unisa, in turn, welcomed the court’s decision, describing it as sound and correct. The university clarified that it was not opposing the minister but fulfilling its responsibility to prevent unnecessary disruptions to its mission and operations.

Conclusion

The Department of Higher Education and Training is actively retracting the appointment of Unisa’s administrator, following a court order. The unlawful appointment raised concerns about the disregard for court orders, prompting a careful reconsideration process by the ministry.

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