The Higher Education Transformation Network has filed a lawsuit in the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) to interdict the Council for Higher Education from removing Walter Sisulu University’s law degree accreditation – a decision taken in November. The Law Society has been cited as a respondent in the matter, notes a TimesLIVE report. According to the council‚ a review of LLB degree programmes was conducted across the 17 universities offering them.

It identified a number of shortcomings in the institutions. In April last year‚ the council called ‘for the submission of improvement plans’ and ‘following the evaluation of the improvement plans’ Walter Sisulu’s accreditation was withdrawn.

In court papers‚ network chair Reginald Legoabe said there was urgency in the application because of the ‘looming commencement of the 2018 academic year and the looming abrogation of the constitutionally enshrined rights to education of poor rural students in the Eastern Cape province to access the legal profession’.

Legoabe asked the court to set aside the council’s decision and order it‚ with the Law Society‚ to ‘institute a fair‚ inclusive and transparent accreditation process for the (university’s) LLB degree programme’ at its Mthatha campus.

His affidavit reads: ‘We further submit that the (council) has neglected to fulfil its own statutory developmental duty to provide the requisite support mechanisms‚ advice and funding to support the (university) to develop its institutional capacity and ensure adherence to the (council’s) accreditation guidelines.’

Full TimesLIVE report