Judgment reserved in Unisa students exclusion case

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The High Court in Pretoria reserved judgment in an application relating to the exclusion of 20 000 first year students to the University of South Africa (Unisa).

This after the Economic Freedom Fighters’ Student Command Council earlier filed papers to challenge Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande’s instruction to the institution to cut the number of first year students to lessen the burden on the National Student Financial Aid Scheme(NSFAS).


The South African Human Rights Commission argues that Nzimande’s exclusion of more than 20 000 potential first-year students from studying at Unisa is a direct contradiction to the transformation objectives in the higher education sector.

The commission says this adds to the existing inequalities which still exist in institutions of higher learning. However, Nzimande says a smaller number of students will lessen the pressure on the NSFAS.

But the EFF wants the decision to reduce the first-year intake at Unisa to be overturned. It feels the Minister can’t dictate how many students Unisa should be accepting.

EFF Student Command Cuncil National president, Mandla Shikwambana, says they want the court to compel Minister Nzimande to reverse his instruction to Unisa.

“The basis of our argument is that the court must direct or instruct the minister of Higher Education to reverse his decision of wanting or willing to reduce the number of students or first year intake at Unisa with 20 000. That’s what we want and we are not going to compromise on that one. We want all those 20 000 students to be included in the system because they want education.”

Judge Mamoloko Kubushi reserved the judgment.

In the video below, EFF Student Command Council  challenges exclusion of first year students at Unisa: