AFRIFORUM has welcomed the ruling of the Supreme Court of Appeal in favour of the lobby group’s case for the preservation of Afrikaans as a fully-fledged language of education at the University of South Africa (Unisa).
Afriforum’s head of cultural affairs Alana Bailey said the ruling was an enormous victory for Afrikaans, Afrikaans students and also for language rights in the country.
The court found that Unisa’s current language policy, which provides only for English as the primary language of tuition, is unconstitutional and unlawful.
Bailey said the ruling, which comes after a five-year-long battle, is of enormous interest for all Afrikaans students in the country, but also for the future of Afrikaans as a high-function language.
“The fact the Supreme Court of Appeal delivered this ruling is of great interest – it is the highest court that has yet ruled in favour of Afrikaans education on tertiary level. The cost order against Unisa further confirms the moral high ground of students who demand the right to education in their native language,” said Bailey.
“It is important that it is eventually acknowledged that access to tertiary education must be extended to not only create room for English first language speakers, but to also accommodate more native languages. Unisa has yet again excluded Afrikaans recently from their plans to encourage staff and students to master more languages. The ruling emphasises that Afrikaans also has a place on government-supported campuses.”
(Compiled by Inside Education staff)