Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande has an immediate problem with the Young Communist League and the trustees of the Jacob Zuma Education Fund calling for Unisa vice-chancellor Barney Pityana to be sacked.
But Nzimande says it is not his job to hire or fire university vice-chancellor. He says ng that Pityana need not worry about a political purge now that he ( Nzimande) is in his office.
He told SAfm radio yesterday, he intended to get on with the job at hand and has no plans to oust political adversaries.
"The issue of the appointment of vice-chancellors is something that does not fall within my purview as a minister.
"It's something that falls within the purview of the university council which operates in a semi-autonomous manner."
Young Communist League spokesperson Castro Ngobese has accused Pityana and Unisa of blocking close to 200 000 students from writing exams because they had not paid their fees.
"We are also concerned by the lack of vision and leadership qualities of Professor Barney Pityana who was opportunistically and cowardly being used to facilitate leadership positions for his political buddies in the Cope.
"This is a call for Pityana to be shown the door."
The fight for Pityana's head is also expected to a be a test of the independence of the YCL from its parent party, the South African Communist Party.