MINISTER NZIMANDE’S RESPONSE TO THE HIGH COURT OF SOUTH AFRICA -GAUTENG DIVISION ON HIS NOTICE TO PLACE UNISA UNDER ADMINISTRATION.
The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, notes the ruling of the High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Division, on an urgent application by the University of South Africa (UNISA).
Minister Nzimande will abide by the ruling of the Court as set by Judge Kooverjie J, on the 5th of October 2023. The Minister further notes the reasons provided by the Court, particularly on the breach of the order of the Court granted by Mr Justice Adams on the 24th August 2023. “I remain concerned that although the order granted by Mr Justice Adams, on the 24th August 2023, has noted the urgency of this matter, the Court has not demonstrated any sense of urgency in finalising this matter. It is now more than a month since that transpired and the matter has not yet been heard by the Court.
However, the Court is able to hear an urgent application by UNISA. To me, this resembles an inconsistency in the application of the principle of “urgency” or prioritisation of issues by the Court.” Minister Nzimande is further concerned about how the South African court system is being used, in this instance, to curtail his executive authority as provided by the Higher Education Act.
Minister believes in the supremacy of the Constitution, the law and the doctrine of the separation of powers between the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. He hopes that this should not be one of those instances in which this important Constitutional principle is violated.
The Minister wishes to clarify the issue of what was before the Court. What was before the Court was not the review of his intention to appoint an administrator at UNISA nor the recommendations of the Independent Assessor.
The Court interdicted the Minister from taking a decision and implementing it pending the finalisation of the interim interdict that the Council had instituted. In that matter, the Council and Vice-Chancellor seek to interdict the Minister from implementing his decision pending finalisation of their application that seeks to have the report and recommendation of the Independent Assessor reviewed and set aside.
This, therefore, means that the Court did not consider the merits of the interim interdict and the review applications. Minister Nzimande will await the Court date for the hearing of an urgent interim interdict application.
The Minister’s legal team has again reminded the Deputy Judge President, Judge Ledwaba, for an expedited special allocation of the aforesaid hearing.
Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology DST Building (53), CSIR Campus, Meiring Naude Road, Brummeria. Pretoria Enquiries Ishmael Mnisi 0663078859 higher education & training Department Higher Education and Training REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA 2030 NDP