[lg policy] Douth Africa: Unisa language policy case struck off roll

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Thu Jul 28 11:25:23 EDT 2016

Unisa language policy case struck off roll
Crime & Courts / 27 Jul '16, 2:37pm

Pretoria - English will for now remain Unisa’s official language after the
court struck a challenge to the language policy from the court roll.

The high court in Pretoria was on Wednesday asked to hear an urgent
application by AfriForum in which the civil rights organisation asked the
court to put the language policy on hold. This was pending a further
application in which AfriForum was due to ask the court the review and set
aside Unisa’s recent policy that English would become the official language.

Judge Nomsa Khumalo heard arguments during the morning session as to why
AfriForum thought the matter was urgent. It was argued on its behalf that
students had to start enrolling for next year on August 1 – less than a
week from now.

The judge was told that if the implementing of the language policy was not
temporarily halted – pending the review application – the thousands of
Afrikaans students who wanted to enroll for the 2017 academic year, would
be prejudiced.

It was argued on behalf of Unisa that AfriForum months ago knew about the
change in policy and it only chose to now turn to court.

Judge Khumalo on Wednesday afternoon, following a short judgment, found
that the matter was not urgent. She said the potential prejudice of the
Afrikaans students could never be a reason for urgency.

According to her AfriForum could have turned to court earlier if it felt
the matter was so urgent. She struck the matter from the roll.

But AfriForum lawyer Werner Human said they will continue with their review
application and ask the Judge President for a preferential date. “We hope
that the matter will be heard no later than October, but it all depends on
when we can get a court date,” he said.

For now, the Afrikaans speaking students who wanted to enroll for the 2017
academic year have to accept that English will be the official language for
lectures and assignments – until the court on review spoke the final word.


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