News / South Africa

Virginia Keppler
1 minute read
20 Apr 2017
5:02 pm

AfriForum, Solidarity head to ConCourt over UFS language policy ruling

Virginia Keppler

Both organisations asked the court to dismiss UFS's decision to adopt a new language policy.

Main building of the University of the Free State, UFS. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

AfriForum and Solidarity’s legal team today submitted an application with the Constitutional Court for leave to appeal against the Supreme Court of Appeal’s ruling over the language policy of the University of the Free State (UFS).

The institutions asked the court to dismiss the University of the Free State (UFS) decision to adopt a new language policy.

This application follows after the ruling of the Supreme Court of Appeal on 28 March 2017 in favour of the UFS’s newly accepted language policy according to which English will be phased in from 2017 as the only primary language of instruction.

Against the background of the constitutional order for diversity (including linguistic diversity) to be promoted, as well as the entrenched right to education in a language of choice that is reasonably feasible, AfriForum and Solidarity argues that the UFS council will not achieve integration according to class and transformation by expunging Afrikaans education.

In its ruling, the court granted that the erosion of the position of Afrikaans as a language of instruction is a legitimate cause for concern and that the differences over the language policy will lead to complex constitutional questions. AfriForum and Solidarity believe these viewpoints create room for success with the application to appeal to the Constitutional Court.

Their legal team is ready to argue in this court for the right of Afrikaans-speaking students to receive Afrikaans instruction.

AfriForum indicated that the decision of the Constitutional Court was eagerly awaited.

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