NEWS
31/01/2018 17:49 SAST | Updated 31/01/2018 17:49 SAST

Equal Education To Apply To Join Court Bid Against Hoërskool Overvaal

Discipline the official who made unfair demands about the school, but still targets Overvaal's language policy, say education activists.

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A demonstrator lights a tyre during protests outside Hoërskool Overvaal on January 17.

Equal Education secretary-general Tshepo Motsepe said the organisation will be joining the Gauteng department of education in its appeal against the Pretoria High Court ruling earlier this month concerning Hoërskool Overvaal.

Judge Bill Prinsloo ruled that the Afrikaans-medium school would not have to accommodate English-speaking pupils, because it did not have the resources.

"I have given an instruction to our lawyers to find out if we can join the case as friends of the court, if it proceeds either to the SCA or the Constitutional Court. We feel the judge in the case made some very problematic statements," Motsepe said.

Yesterday, the department said it would take the case to the Constitutional Court

"The facts of the case in relation to the district director are quite damning. In my view, the district director should have been fired – and I hope she is facing some music"
– Judge Bill Prinsloo

Motsepe claims that a district official was the main reason why the department lost the case. Sedibeng East district director Dorah Moloi was ajudged to have not been fair in ordering Overvaal to accept the English-speaking learners.

For this reason, Moloi was accused of defeating the ends of justice, and Judge Prinsloo suggested her "senior peers investigate her conduct".

"The facts of the case in relation to the district director are quite damning. In my view the district director should have been fired – and I hope she is facing some music," Prinsloo said. "The district director clearly lied and went as far as intimidating people in order to cover her tracks."

Read: Protests To Continue at Hoërskool Overvaal

Equal Education's Motsepe suggested that the department admit the official was wrong, but still fight to overturn the language policy at the school.

"The constitutionality of the case is very vital, and I think it would be a mistake for the department not to proceed with this matter. I think there is definitely a case to be made [about] single-medium schools and the reality in South Africa [of] overcrowded classrooms and the shortage of resources," Motsepe said.

Multiple protests by political parties, unions and community members have continued outside the school since the High Court ruling.