[lg policy] Afrikaans school wins admissions court spat AddThis Sharing Buttons Share to Facebook16Share to TwitterShare to WhatsAppShare to Email Ilse de Lange VOICING THEIR FRUSTRATIONS. Parents of pupils who will not be accepted at Höerskool Overvaal are seen lashing out in the High Court in Pretoria yesterday where the court set aside the decision by the Gauteng department of education to admit 55 pupils to be taught in English at the Afrikaans school. Picture: Jacques Nelles VOICING THEIR FRUSTRATIONS. Parents of pupils who will not be accepted at Höerskool Overvaal are seen lashing out in the High Court in Pretoria yesterday where the court set aside the decision by the Gauteng department of education to admit 55 pupils to be taught in English at the Afrikaans school. Picture: Jacques Nelles The judge found that according to objective evidence, Overvaal was already full by the time they were ordered to accept the additional pupils. The parents of 55 English-speaking pupils reacted angril

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Tue Jan 16 11:58:04 EST 2018


 Afrikaans school wins admissions court spat
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Share to Facebook16Share to TwitterShare to WhatsAppShare to Email
Ilse de Lange
[image: VOICING THEIR FRUSTRATIONS. Parents of pupils who will not be
accepted at Höerskool Overvaal are seen lashing out in the High Court in
Pretoria yesterday where the court set aside the decision by the Gauteng
department of education to admit 55 pupils to be taught in English at the
Afrikaans school. Picture: Jacques Nelles]

VOICING THEIR FRUSTRATIONS. Parents of pupils who will not be accepted at
Höerskool Overvaal are seen lashing out in the High Court in Pretoria
yesterday where the court set aside the decision by the Gauteng department
of education to admit 55 pupils to be taught in English at the Afrikaans
school. Picture: Jacques Nelles
The judge found that according to objective evidence, Overvaal was already
full by the time they were ordered to accept the additional pupils.

The parents of 55 English-speaking pupils reacted angrily to a ruling by
the High Court in Pretoria setting aside the Gauteng education department’s
bid to force Afrikaans Höerskool Overvaal in Vereeniging to admit them.

They waved their fists at the Afrikaans parents of the school, vowing they
would not allow “these racists” to open the school tomorrow, when the new
teaching year starts, and threatening to burn it down.

Judge Bill Prinsloo ruled yesterday that a December 5 directive to the
school from the Sedibeng East district education director stating that
tomorrow it must admit an additional 55 English-speaking pupils and become
a dual-medium of instruction school on short notice was unlawful.

He also found that the district director, Criselda Makhubela, was clearly
biased and had attempted to defeat the ends of justice by, in effect,
bullying the principals of two neighbouring English schools to recant their
evidence under oath that their schools had space for these pupils.

In her affidavit, Makhubela referred to Afrikaans as a separatist language
that caused sorrow and tears.

The judge said it was difficult to see how one could expect her to be
unbiased towards the school in the light of those sentiments.

He granted a punitive costs order against the head of the Gauteng education
department and the district education director.

The judge found that according to objective evidence, Overvaal was already
full by the time they were ordered to accept the additional pupils.

He also found that the neighbouring English Phoenix High School and General
Smuts High School did, in fact, have places for them.

The judge said the district director could not just ride roughshod over the
school’s language policy by dictating that the school must become
dual-medium overnight and in circumstances where there was no space for the
extra pupils.

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi referred to the school as racist,
saying it was opposed to transformation and that its stance was depriving
children of their constitutional right to education.

However, he called for calm and asked the English-speaking pupils’ parents
not to take the law into their own hands.

He said the school’s victory would be short-lived, as the department would
definitely appeal the ruling.

Panyaza added that the Gauteng education department would take the matter
to the Constitutional Court to see if it “would agree with these racists”.
AddThis Sharing Buttons
Share to Facebook16Share to TwitterShare to WhatsAppShare to Email
Ilse de Lange
[image: VOICING THEIR FRUSTRATIONS. Parents of pupils who will not be
accepted at Höerskool Overvaal are seen lashing out in the High Court in
Pretoria yesterday where the court set aside the decision by the Gauteng
department of education to admit 55 pupils to be taught in English at the
Afrikaans school. Picture: Jacques Nelles]

VOICING THEIR FRUSTRATIONS. Parents of pupils who will not be accepted at
Höerskool Overvaal are seen lashing out in the High Court in Pretoria
yesterday where the court set aside the decision by the Gauteng department
of education to admit 55 pupils to be taught in English at the Afrikaans
school. Picture: Jacques Nelles
The judge found that according to objective evidence, Overvaal was already
full by the time they were ordered to accept the additional pupils.

The parents of 55 English-speaking pupils reacted angrily to a ruling by
the High Court in Pretoria setting aside the Gauteng education department’s
bid to force Afrikaans Höerskool Overvaal in Vereeniging to admit them.

They waved their fists at the Afrikaans parents of the school, vowing they
would not allow “these racists” to open the school tomorrow, when the new
teaching year starts, and threatening to burn it down.

Judge Bill Prinsloo ruled yesterday that a December 5 directive to the
school from the Sedibeng East district education director stating that
tomorrow it must admit an additional 55 English-speaking pupils and become
a dual-medium of instruction school on short notice was unlawful.

He also found that the district director, Criselda Makhubela, was clearly
biased and had attempted to defeat the ends of justice by, in effect,
bullying the principals of two neighbouring English schools to recant their
evidence under oath that their schools had space for these pupils.

In her affidavit, Makhubela referred to Afrikaans as a separatist language
that caused sorrow and tears.

The judge said it was difficult to see how one could expect her to be
unbiased towards the school in the light of those sentiments.

He granted a punitive costs order against the head of the Gauteng education
department and the district education director.

The judge found that according to objective evidence, Overvaal was already
full by the time they were ordered to accept the additional pupils.

He also found that the neighbouring English Phoenix High School and General
Smuts High School did, in fact, have places for them.

The judge said the district director could not just ride roughshod over the
school’s language policy by dictating that the school must become
dual-medium overnight and in circumstances where there was no space for the
extra pupils.

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi referred to the school as racist,
saying it was opposed to transformation and that its stance was depriving
children of their constitutional right to education.

However, he called for calm and asked the English-speaking pupils’ parents
not to take the law into their own hands.

He said the school’s victory would be short-lived, as the department would
definitely appeal the ruling.

Panyaza added that the Gauteng education department would take the matter
to the Constitutional Court to see if it “would agree with these racists”.


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 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
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/

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