A blow to South African language rights – this is how the applicants AfriForum, AfriForum Youth and Solidarity have described the North Gauteng High Court’s ruling in their language case against the University of Pretoria (UP). The UP will phase out Afrikaans as medium of tuition as of 2017. The case was heard on 1 December 2016 and the court announced today that it rejects the application with costs.
AfriForum, AfriForum Youth and Solidarity’s legal team will study the judgment in detail to decide whether or not to appeal. They remain convinced that the University’s new language policy amounts to a gross violation of the constitutionally-recognised language rights of Afrikaans students.
The three organisations will take any possible steps to protect and preserve the rights of Afrikaans students to study in their mother tongue. They have already won a similar case against the management of the University of the Free State this year.
The case not only applies to the continuation of the rights of Afrikaans students, but to the protection and promotion of the principles of mother-tongue education and multilingualism versus monolingual English education, which is increasingly being adopted and enforced by institutions. This at the cost of approximately 90% of South Africans whose mother tongue is not English.