THE SOCIAL justice movement Not In My Name South Africa (NIMNSA) has threatened to take Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to court if she goes ahead with her controversial plan to reopen schools on Monday next week.
The movement presented a memorandum of demands to the Department of Basic Education on Wednesday, subject to a response within a limited number of days.
It said failure to do comply with their demands to halt the reopening of schools will result in an unprecedented legal action supported by a coalition of student bodies and civil rights organizations.
“Schools are designed to be highly interactive environments which mimic high risk activities” said NIMNSA.
NIMNSA argues that there is no scientific evidence to support the hasty decision taken by National Coronavirus Command Council to reopen schools on June 1.
“We are cognizant of the measures the department claims it has taken, some of which implicate them in corrupt PPE agreements, however we immensely believe that the department and the NCC are gambling with children’s lives”, said the group in a statement.
Last week, Motshekga announced that schools will reopen on June 1 in a phased approach where only Grades 7s and Grade 12s would be allowed to return for now.
“Reopening of schools is premature and done with haste considering that all credible indicators suggest that infections have not yet peaked, with over 22 000 cases and rising,” said NIMNSA.
This week, various provincial departments of education have been preparing for the reopening of schools, and receiving Personal Protective Equipment, masks and sanitizers.