Free State varsity wins against Nzimande

2012-08-13 16:14
Blade Nzimande (File, Sapa)

Blade Nzimande (File, Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bloemfontein - The Free State High Court in Bloemfontein has set aside Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande's appointment of an administrator at the Central University of Technology (CUT) in Bloemfontein.

On Monday, Judge Johann Daffue found for the council of the CUT, which had brought an urgent review application and sought an order declaring invalid Nzimande's decision to replace it with an administrator.

The court dismissed a counter application by Nzimande, departmental director general Gwebinkundla Qonde, and the administrator Stanley Ridge

Afterwards, people hugged each other, loudly approved and called Daffue's judgment a victory for the university community.

Nzimande appointed an assessor to look into the affairs of the CUT after protracted appeals and complaints by personnel and others at the university.

These included an anonymous letter sent to Nzimande by a group of CUT personnel, alleging serious financial and management irregularities.

Daffue found that the council, and not the minister, was responsible for the appointment of senior personnel, such as the rector.


The minister, or the department, did not have the powers to terminate the employment of university staff, such as the rector.
"Neither the minister or officials have the right to discipline the personnel of an institution [of higher learning]."

The court also held that Nzimande had no power to dissolve the CUT council and that he had exceeded his powers in this regard.

"The minister must accept the autonomy of the university. The step taken by minister was drastic," Daffue said.

The court held that allegations in the anonymous letter of violations at CUT by unnamed personnel were vague.

There was no clear evidence of alleged financial misconduct and other mismanagement, because of the lack of supporting documents.

There was also no indication of how many people there were in the group.

Daffue ruled that under the circumstances no reasonable decision-maker could have reached the decision made by Nzimande.

Management duties

The court found the minister pre-judged the CUT situation in deciding to appoint an administrator.

Daffue said it was accepted that there would always be people who were not happy when a big institution went through a restructuring process.

Nevertheless, he said, there was no justification for aspects, such as low personnel morale, and that this had to be dealt with by management.

The judge also held that tactics used by the CUT after the administrator was appointed could not be condoned.


In reaction, CUT rector Thandwa Mthembu said the judgment was a victory for the autonomy of higher education institutions and academic freedom. "We are very relieved".

The truth had also triumphed in the matter.

Mthembu said the council was back in business and would continue doing its work as before.

He said that despite the litigation the council had continued its work as usual and that management had tried hard to keep staff and students as calm as possible. "We had a good case."

Mthembu said the matter was sensitive and had great potential for getting out of hand and leading to students going on the rampage.

He admitted that not all was rosy at CUT, as was indicated by Daffue, in terms of staff morale, but said management would deal with this.


Read more on:    blade nzimande  |  bloemfontein  |  education

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


DA wants to empower fishing communities - Zille

DA leader Helen Zille says the party has a plan for harbours and small-scale fishing communities.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900

The Blackberry Bold Touch 9900 is as the name says...

From R3565.00

I'm shopping for:


You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.