Colonial and apartheid education and knowledge systems played a key role in the centuries of subjugation, racist oppression, dehumanization and exploitation in South Africa. After the transition from apartheid to democracy, it was expected that the country’s universities would fundamentally transform, decolonize and be accessible to all who qualify. However, the hegemonic Eurocentric knowledge, rooted in colonial and apartheid racism, remains the norm in South African higher education, displacing all other knowledges, epistemologies and schools of thought. At the same time, higher education is out of reach of many black students who cannot afford high fees. In order to critically engage with transformation and decolonization in South African higher education, it is important to interrogate neoliberalization and commodification of the system and institutions, which have, in part, prevented epistemic transformation. In the post-apartheid university, the focus of university leaders and administrators shifted from redress, social and epistemic justice and decolonization, to commodification, profit-making and chasing a place in the ‘global knowledge economy’. Fundamental transformation and decolonization require tackling neoliberalization and corporatization of higher education and the Eurocentric epistemic hegemony at the same time, as these are two sides of the same coin that represents coloniality, which refers to the structures of power and influence that survived the formal end of colonialism and apartheid.