News / South Africa

Gopolang Moloko
1 minute read
27 Jul 2018
3:11 pm

Lesufi sings a different tune after Hoërskool Overvaal plan is derailed

Gopolang Moloko

It’s back to the drawing board for the department following a court ruling that 55 English-speaking pupils would not be enrolled at the high school.

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi speaks during a media briefing at Mahlube Secondary School in Mamelodi East on 16 October 2017. The MEC's visit follows an alleged sexual assault of a pupil of the school by one of the school's private security guards. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi was at Hoërskool Overvaal in Vereeniging on Friday morning alongside department heads to reflect on the Constitutional Court judgment made this week.

The court dismissed his department’s appeal to have the English-speaking pupils admitted to the school.

Lesufi said the department welcomed the ruling on the matter, and sang a different tune when he said the court judgment came too late, as the department and the school were now working together.

He added the department and the school did not need a court to tell them how to be a nonracial society.

The MEC recalled the last time he was at the Vereeniging school. He said it was chaotic, and did not think it would be possible for Friday’s gathering in honour of the late Nelson Mandela.

He added district officials would not treat Hoërskool Overvaal differently.

The education department lost its bid to appeal the high court ruling that it could not force Hoërskool Overvaal to admit English pupils to become a dual-medium school.

The department approached the Constitutional Court for leave to appeal following a ruling by the High Court in Pretoria, which did not agree with the department’s wish to admit the 55 English-speaking learners on short notice.

The Constitutional Court dismissed the department’s application with costs.

Hoërskool Overvaal made headlines earlier in the year when 55 learners were denied enrollment by the school, which stated it was running at full capacity.

Protests flared outside the school earlier in the year over its language policy, alongside perceived racism.