A former Wits student’s R7.6-million lawsuit against Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande was struck off the roll in court recently.
According to Times LIVE, Hamilton Moloi, who was a fourth-year BEd student, argues he was deliberately failed by the university and is seeking compensation from Nzimande. However, his case was not taken into account by the judge due to errors in his application.
Legal expert Professor Stephen Tuson believes Moloi cited the wrong defendant in the case as he can sue Wits directly for his claims.
According to Tuson, Wits is a “statutory body with a standing identity”, which means it has the ability to sue and be sued in its own name.
However, Moloi also has the right to sue the person in charge of the alleged offender, such as Nzimande or even the vice-chancellor of Wits, as a representative of the University.
Tuson said it appears the case was struck off the roll because the evidence Moloi presented to the court, in the form of affidavits, was not properly authenticated by a commissioner of oaths.
Moloi told reporters outside of court he will not give up fighting as he believes Nzimande has to answer his claim that he has been denied his right to education.
Professor Francis Faller, Deputy Head of the Wits School of Education, said the incident was examined and the findings were passed on to the Department of Education.
He said: “the matter has been thoroughly investigated and the school is satisfied that Mr Moloi has not been unduly disadvantaged.”
Faller also said there had been no recent contact between the school and Moloi or between the school and the Department of Education, to his knowledge.
The incident began in 2007 when, according to Moloi, he placed an assignment in the wrong submissions box which was then deemed late and marked out of 50%.
According to reports, Nzimande said in court papers the student should have included Wits in his application as the case revolves around a decision made by the university, not by the minister himself.