The court’s ruling comes after the university filed for a court interdict against the move, however, on October 27, Nzimande went ahead with the decision. The order was handed down on Wednesday, November 1.
Nzimande had appointed Professor Ihron Rensburg as an administrator to oversee all the university management for 24 months after dissolving the university’s council.
Nzimande’s decision followed a report and recommendations from an independent assessor.
The report revealed how millions of rands were misused under the watch of both the university’s council and management.
The university’s governance system has been in the limelight amid allegations of corruption, misconduct, mismanagement, and maladministration.
The court found Nzimande’s decision to be unconstitutional and unlawful.
Responding to the court’s ruling, Nzimande’s office said he would study the ruling by the Court and decide on the next legal route to take.
Unisa welcomed the court ruling declaring the minister’s decision to place the institution under administration was unlawful.
“The university believes that this court decision is sound and correct, given that the matter about the review of the Independent Assessor Report, which largely formed the basis of the Minister's decision, is still before the court and yet to be concluded,” it said.
The university also appealed to its staff and students not to let these developments in court defocus them from the task of ensuring that the academic project forges ahead unabated.
“Management also re-emphasises the point that it is not fighting the Minister but merely exercising its responsibility towards the institution, its stakeholders, and the public at large by preventing an unnecessary disruption of the execution of its missional mandate,” it said in a statement.