On 17 September 2020, the Grahamstown High Court granted Yolanda Dyantyi leave to appeal a decision to dismiss her review application. In June 2018, SERI launched the review application seeking to set aside the outcome of the disciplinary inquiry which resulted in her being permanently excluded from Rhodes University in November 2017.

On 4 December 2019, SERI appeared on behalf of Yolanda in the Grahamstown High Court to argue the review application. SERI argued that the disciplinary inquiry was procedurally unfair, in that 1) Yolanda was denied the assistance of her chosen counsel and consequently of any reasonable opportunity to present her case; 2) that the presiding officer at the disciplinary inquiry was biased, or reasonably suspected of bias, and 3) that Yolanda was unlawfully denied the internal remedies made available to her in terms of the University’s disciplinary rules. Yolanda also argued that, even if the inquiry was procedurally fair, the conclusions reached by the Proctor were based on material errors of fact and of law and were conclusions that no reasonable decision-maker could have made on the evidence before them.

In March 2020 the High Court dismissed Yolanda’s review application and ordered her to pay the University’s costs. In April 2020, SERI then filed an application for leave to appeal, primarily submitting that the Court erred in failing to consider the argument that the postponement of the disciplinary inquiry to a date when her legal counsel was not available had resulted in an unfair disciplinary process. Rhodes University opposed the application and the matter was then argued on 7 September and 11 September 2020.

The matter will now be appealed at the Supreme Court of Appeal.

Relevant documents:

  • Grahamstown High Court judgment in the application for leave to appeal (17 September 2020) here.
  • SERI supplementary grounds of appeal (8 September 2020) here.
  • SERI application for leave to appeal (16 April 2020) here.
  • Grahamstown High Court judgment (review application) (26 March 2020) here.
  • SERI heads of argument (review application) (13 November 2020) here.
  • SERI notice of motion (1 June 2018) here.
  • Read more about the case here.