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Refusing undocumented children access to school 'wrong and illegal', says lawyer


It is illegal to deny children of undocumented foreign nationals entry at any South African school, human rights activist and attorney Jos Venter said.

Patriotic Alliance leader Gayton McKenzie called for the children of foreign nationals to be refused entry to local schools.

Venter said McKenzie's call was unlawful because education was a basic human right.

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"It is absolutely illegal and Gayton McKenzie is wrong in his view, wrong in the law and at practical level, the implementation of the law is problematic. but we have the 2019 judgment from the Eastern Cape division of the high court, where the court expressly said that, based on a lack of documents, children can't be refused admission to public schools."

Meanwhile, Western Cape Education MEC David Maynier said despite placing almost all grade one and eight pupils in the province, they were under severe admission pressure.

He said the department received more than 25,000 late applications.

"It is extremely difficult to place learners at this extremely late stage, and parents arriving now must be prepared for a delay in the placement of their children.

"It is for this reason that we continue to urge parents to apply on time for their children," said Maynier.

"We need to know who will need place and where, so that we can make plans in advance to accommodate them."




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