[lg policy] language judgement to be appealed – AfriForum

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Tue Jun 26 10:29:01 EDT 2018

language judgement to be appealed – AfriForum
Alana Bailey |
25 June 2018

Alana Bailey says the rights organisation asks protection for directly
affect the speakers of all official languages

*AfriForum to appeal court judgement regarding Unisa language policy *

*25 June 2018*

Leave was granted to the civil rights organisation AfriForum to appeal
against the North Gauteng High Court’s judgement in favour of the
University of South Africa’s (Unisa’s) unilingual English language policy.
This judgement was delivered on 26 April 2018.

According to Alana Bailey, Deputy CEO of AfriForum responsible for language
affairs, the organisation and its legal team decided that it is essential
to appeal, seeing as the protection of language rights is essential for
quality education in the country and also because it directly affects the
future stance of the economy. The protection of the rights of Afrikaans
speaking students is of extreme importance to AfriForum and the
organisation will continue to protect and promote their access to mother
tongue education using all possible legal manners.

“This judgement does in our opinion and the national and international
research that we have done in the past 12 years regarding the significance
of the protection of language rights not fit in with developments in this
field,” says Bailey. “The rights which we ask protection for directly
affect the speakers of all the official languages.”

Shortly after leave to appeal was granted, AfriForum received good news
concerning another language case in which the civil rights organisation is
involved. AfriForum is one of the organisations supporting the language
rights activist Cerneels Lourens in a case regarding the lack of
legislation in all 11 official languages. Currently all legislation is
published in English, accompanied by a randomly selected second language.
This means that South African legislation is not comprehensibly available
in any of the ten native official languages. Lourens and his contributors
in 2017 reported the matter at the Human Rights Committee of the United
Nations (UN) after all local legal remedies to make multilingual
legislation possible were depleted without success. This charge is now at
last officially being investigated. Lourens, AfriForum and the other
participants in the process are hoping that the UN’s investigation will
also contribute to more awareness concerning the necessity of language
rights in the country.

“The UN’s earnestness with this matter ought to also show institutions such
as Unisa that students cannot simply be deprived of education in their
mother tongue,” declares Bailey. AfriForum is thus currently preparing at
full steam for the appeal case against Unisa’s unilingual language

*Issued by Alana Bailey, Deputy CEO, AfriForum, 25 June 2018*


 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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