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Friday, 17 November 2023 23:22

Nzimande withdraws government gazette on Unisa administration.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Minister of higher education, science and innovation Blade Nzimande has withdrawn his notice to place University of South Africa (Unisa) under administration.

The decision on Friday relates to Government Notice No. 4015 published in Government Gazette No. 49582 Vol 700 on 27 October 2023, in which Nzimande detailed the appointment based on the recommendations of independent assessor Themba Mosia's report on the struggling institution.

Judge Leicester Adams had ordered the minister not to act on these recommendations until two applications challenging it had been concluded. Nevertheless, Nzimande appeared to make former University of Johannesburg vice-chancellor Professor Ihron Rensburg Unisa's administrator.

The institution's council had also been dissolved following allegations of mismanagement.

Mosia was appointed in September 2022 to conduct an investigation into the affairs of Unisa and compile a report with its findings and recommendations.

The report was submitted to Nzimande in March this year before being tabled in Parliament in May.

Mosia's investigations uncovered financial and other maladministration that undermined Unisa's effective functioning, yet "performance bonuses were being paid to the executive management."

Furthermore, the ministerial task team's report found that Unisa's council had failed the university "dismally".

"The council has failed to ensure the basic assurance services and functions necessary to secure the effectiveness of governance, risk management and control processes.

However, UNISA maintains that the Report of the Independent Assessor is fundamentally flawed and its recommendations are totally misplaced.