Assault at Overvaal Hoerskool condemned – Bongani Baloyi

DA Midvaal mayor encourages schools to ensure that we embrace all languages

DA condemns assault at Overvaal High School

17 January 2018

The DA condemns the violence that broke out at Overvaal High School in Vereeniging and particularly the physical altercation between a parent and EFF protesters.

We urge parents to refrain from antagonizing demonstrators and that the demonstrators exercise restraint in expressing their views. We further call for calm at the school.

The tensions follow a verdict that was delivered by Judge Prinsloo of the Pretoria High Court on Monday. The verdict blocked the Gauteng Education Department from forcibly enrolling 55 English pupils at the school where Afrikaans is the medium of instruction. Judge Prinsloo determined that the department didn’t adequately assess the school’s capacity to accommodate learners before seeking to overrule its language policy.

We call on the department to engage with the school in order to find common ground. If the school has capacity to accommodate the learners, the department must commit the necessary resources and learners must be placed. Integration at schools is important and it should be planned in a manner that does not compromise learning. Where schools are requested to accommodate learners, those schools must be capacitated to do so.

No learners must be discriminated on the basis of language. We encourage schools to ensure that we embrace all languages and promote all of them as far as is practically possible. Language must never be used to divide but must rather be used to build our diversity.

The DA condemns any form of violence and intimidation. We believe in redress to correct the past imbalances. As we deal with this issue, we must keep in mind that it is the learners who must come first. As such we must deal with the matter in a manner that will benefit those pupils first and foremost.

Issued by Bongani BaloyiDA Vaal Chairperson, 17 January 2018