ConCourt decides to not directly hear UFS appeal – AfriForum and Solidarity

Organisation says ruling is third victory in the battle against university management’s decision for an unconstitutional language policy

AfriForum and Solidarity welcome Constitutional Court decision to not directly hear UFS appeal over language case

28 September 2016  

AfriForum and Solidarity welcome the decision of the Constitutional Court to reject with cost the application of the University of the Free State (UFS) management that appeal regarding the University’s language policy be heard directly by this court. On 21 July 2016, the Bloemfontein High Court ruled that the decision of the University council and senate on a language policy that phases out Afrikaans as primary medium of instruction, be set aside. The UFS management attempted to appeal against the ruling directly to the Constitutional Court.

According to Johan Kruger, Deputy Operational Manager of Solidarity, the UFS will now have to appeal to the highest court of appeal. “The case is of immense importance where language rights are concerned and it is therefore important that it is argued on all levels in the lower courts.”

Alana Bailey, Deputy CEO of AfriForum, confirms that the organisations’ legal team is ready for the appeal case. “It is, however, regrettable that the UFS’s management obstinately persists with this case, in spite of the court’s clear ruling that the new language policy is discriminating and will withhold students’ access to education with this institution.”

This ruling is the third victory for AfriForum and Solidarity in the battle against management’s decision for an unconstitutional language policy.

Solidarity and AfriForum urgently implores all prospective Afrikaans students at the UFS to clearly state on their applications that they want to study in Afrikaans. The University must take note of the need for Afrikaans education and students can prove with this decision how strong they feel about their right to mother language instruction.

Issued by Alana Bailey, Deputy CEO, AfriForum, 28 September 2016