The University of Johannesburg (UJ) intends to seek legal remedies against a court ruling instructing them to consider an application for accreditation from a private dormitory provider of their building.
All in one Judgment given last Wednesday, UJ was instructed to examine Gaetal’s application for accreditation of the building known as Nano Living Miller Street for the academic year 2021 within 10 days of the court judgment and to notify Gaetal of this decision.
Gaetal spent R60 million last year converting its building into UJ students, which should receive funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) in 2021.
Decided due to lack of demand due to Covid-19 the university in August last year not to consider any new applications for accreditation of private accommodation in 2021.
Despite the decision of the UJ, Gaetal accepted students for the academic year 2021, but had problems with payment because the institution is not accredited.
In his ruling, Acting Judge Greg Fourie said that the decision not to consider applications for 2021 affected Gaetal’s rights or legitimate expectations.
Following the verdict, UJ said it believed the judge had made several mistakes and there was a reasonable chance that an appeals court would would come to a different conclusion.
“The university has therefore decided to seek admission of the appeal to the ruling. UJ has directed its attorneys to proceed with filing the appeal license. The applicant (Gaetal) was made aware of this, “said UJ spokesman Herman Esterhuizen.
He said that UJ’s decision not to accredit new accommodations for the academic year 2021 was in the middle of the Covid- 19 pandemic at a time when student dormitory demand was declining.
“This gave UJ time to strengthen and streamline its policies and procedures to ensure proper use of government funds. UJ has acted honestly at all times. ”
Esterhuizen said UJ had concerns about the perception, created by the ruling, that accrediting Gaetal would open the door to access to NSFAS funds regarding the Accommodation that was provided at a time when Gaetal did not have such an accreditation.
“That is wrong. The official decision not to accredit Gaetal existed until it was repealed by the judgment.
“If the decision is repealed, the process has to start all over again. It neither leads to automatic accreditation nor can such accreditation be applied retrospectively. ”
The institution said the judge did not believe that Gaetal had acted against the relevant guidelines.
“It advertised and accommodated students without being accredited. Gaetal violated exactly the guidelines it wanted to invoke, and on this basis Gaetal resorted to ‘self-help’. “
UJ said when submitting his application this week that this would have the effect suspend the judgment pending a decision on the application for approval.