The Constitutional Court has ruled that the University of South Africa (UNISA) has to change its language policy to include teaching and learning in Afrikaans.
The legal team representing UNISA says even though the Constitutional Court ruled against their client, the university has every intention of complying with the judgment delivered this afternoon.
In his judgment, Justice Steven Arnold Majiedt said UNISA’s language policy had not been adopted in a constitutionally compliant manner.
UNISA’s attorney Mojalefa Motalane, “We are yet to take instructions from our client UNISA. As the legal team, we are fairly happy that the ConCourt exercised quite a bit of wisdom to suspend its order and give our client an opportunity to make a decision as to whether it reverts to the old policy or introduce a new policy all together which will give it an opportunity to follow all the right processes in compliance with the constitution.”
In 2020, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruled in favour of lobby group AfriForum. The SCA found that UNISA had neither implemented nor adopted its language policy in accordance with constitutional requirements.
In May, AfriForum’s Head of Cultural Affairs Alana Bailey said more than 20 000 Afrikaans-speaking students studying at UNISA needed clarity.
Bailey said, “In 2016 AfriForum started the legal process against the University of South Africa because they implemented the language policy that phased out Afrikaans as a language of tuition, thereby infringing on the language rights of more than 20 000 Afrikaans speaking students of all races. We feel that it is very important for tertiary education to make room for more languages and not remove the rights of more languages that are already in use.” – SABCNews