[lg policy] Gauteng Education Dept Taking Hoërskool Overvaal To ConCourt

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Thu Feb 1 10:21:16 EST 2018

 Gauteng Education Dept Taking Hoërskool Overvaal To ConCourt Panyaza
Lesufi will bypass SCA in his determination to force the Afrikaans school
to accept English-speaking pupils.

   - <?subject=Gauteng%20Education%20Dept%20Taking%20Ho%C3%ABrskool%20Overvaal%20To%20ConCourt&body=Article:

   - By Queenin Masuabi
   - Pontsho Mabena <http://www.huffingtonpost.co.za/author/pontsho-mabena>

Pontsho Mabena

Gauteng MEC for education Panyaza Lesufi
says the department is determined to take Hoërskool Overvaal
to court.

"I can confirm that yesterday we finalised our documents as the department.
We are now approaching the Constitutional Court directly – we are no longer
appealing to the appeal court in Bloemfontein," Lesufi said on Tuesday.

This is despite reports that the national department would prefer the
matter to be handled through mediation. Yesterday, reports said that
minster of basic education Angie Motshekga
acknowledged that it was actually an issue of resources, not language, and
urged all parties to try to solve the matter through mediation.

"I said to the province, 'Let's not necessarily go and fight. This school
belongs to us.' ... The school is not resisting [having] a parallel medium.
It's a resource issue," Motshekga reportedly said.

The High Court in Pretoria ruled that the school didn't have space to admit
55 English-speaking pupils, and that changing the school's language policy
was not lawful.

The judgment was followed by multiple protests at the school by political
parties and community members.

"We need to meet the deadline of the court. You can't go to court and say:
'We are no longer appealing' if mediation succeeds. We are going to the
courts if it fails."– Panyaza Lesufi

The MEC held a briefing at Reiger Park Secondary
another Gauteng school causing uproar after a video was shared online in
which the school's principal is seen having sex with a pupil.

When asked about the inconsistencies between what he was saying and the
education minister's statement, he said: "We need to meet the deadline of
the court. You can't go to court and say: 'We are no longer appealing' if
mediation succeeds. We are going to the courts if it fails – I do not think
there is a different opinion."

"We said to the [national] department that all these processes are not
mutually exclusive. That is why we are meeting with the SGB of the school,
that is why we are meeting with AfriForum, that is why we are meeting with
teacher unions," he said, insisting that the provincial department was "in
touch with the basic education department on all these matters".

*Calm restored at **Hoërskool Overvaal*

The MEC assured reporters that calm has been restored at Hoërskool
Overvaal. He said he has been in negotiations with all stakeholders, who
have agreed to give them time to resolve the matter.

Lesufi said he had a meeting with Motshekga and the South African Teachers
Union (SAOU) – which represents the majority of teachers at the school – as
well as AfriForum and Solidarity.

"We resolved that all parties will be open-minded, will not interfere with
the legal processes, but will continue to engage... that meeting was very
fruitful," he said.

"We don't have the kind of activities like the burning of tyres and people
coming with guns outside the school premises," he said. "I had a session
with the entire provincial leadership of the EFF. We requested them to move
away from the school and give the legal process an opportunity... if they
want to be friends of the courts, they can come through that process,"
Lesufi said.

He says the party has taken his advice.

Lesufi has also met with what he calls "the progressive left" – which
includes the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu), the South
African National Civic Organisation (Sanco), the South African Communist
Party (SACP), the Young Communist League (YCL) and the ANC.

He also said he did not want organisations to "mobilise on the basis of

"There is an argument we are advancing as a department – we believe we are
on solid ground. There is no need for us to panic. We really believe we
have got a case that we can take and deal with this matter," he said.


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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