Constitutional Court finds Lesufi has no chance of success in Overvaal case
26 July 2018
Trade union Solidarity today welcomed the Constitutional Court order that the MEC for Education in Gauteng, Panyaza Lesufi, may not force the Overvaal case through the courts any longer.
This followed after Hoërskool Overvaal had received an instruction from the Gauteng Department of Education in December 2017 to take in 55 additional English-speaking learners in the 2018 school year. According to Solidarity Deputy Chief Executive Johan Kruger, the instruction was given despite the fact that the school had already reached full capacity with learners already placed in Hoërskool Overvaal, and also despite the fact that Hoërskool Overvaal is a single-medium Afrikaans school.
Kruger claims that Overvaal is not the only Afrikaans public school pressured by government to abandon its Afrikaans language policy, and to exceed its capacity by accepting additional learners. “Therefore, this victory of Hoërskool Overvaal is a victory for all public schools with Afrikaans as the language of instruction, and also for public schools that constantly experience capacity challenges during the admission period,” Kruger said.
According to Kruger, the Constitutional Court order confirms that civil servants may not be irresponsible with regard to the placement of learners, and it also confirms the important principle that a constitutional space for Afrikaans as language of instruction does exist.
Therefore, the court ruling of 15 January 2018 stands and its contents determines inter alia that:
- Afrikaans as language of instruction is a relevant consideration in the admission of learners to public schools; and
- The capacity of public schools to accommodate learners must be a consideration during the admission process.
“The hands of public schools, and more specifically Afrikaans public schools, have been strengthened by this court order and it enables governing bodies to apply their admission policies with confidence,” Kruger concluded.
To read the complete court order, click here.
Issued by Francois Redelinghuys, Spokesperson, Solidarity, 26 July 2018