[lg policy] South Africa: Lesufi contests language judgment

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Thu May 28 14:43:24 UTC 2015

 Lesufi contests language judgment
 Batlile Phaladi
 [image: FILE PICTURE: Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. Picture:
Werner Beukes/SAPA]
 FILE PICTURE: Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. Picture: Werner
 After losing a legal battle over converting single-medium schools to
parallel-medium schools, Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi is
considering his options.

He will contest a court ruling that favoured the Federation of Governing
bodies of South African Schools (Fedsas). Lesufi said no child could be
denied quality education “purely because the school uses a different
language or she is speaking a different language”.

The department “respected the judge’s decision”, but he believed another
court could come to a different decision. This followed a judgment by Judge
Gregory Wright at the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Lesufi said the department was of the view the case brought by Fedsas was
flawed and motivated by “concerns that do not accord with our constitution
as well as the regulatory framework governing education and, particularly,
access to education in our new democracy”.

Fedsas brought an urgent application last week to stop the education
department from “interfering with schools’ language policy and admissions”.
The department had announced 124 single-medium schools would be converted
to parallel-medium schools.

In an affidavit, Fedsas accused the department of taking the decision
without prior consultation and without legal or factual basis. But Lesufi
reiterated no school should exclude a learner on the basis of language.

“The right to education is one of the most fundamental rights in the
constitution and if any school, when applying its language and admission
policy, acts contrary to the constitution, that policy must be
disregarded,” said Lesufi.


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