Opinion: 'If you are going to apply legal principles call a spade a spade'

There has been mixed public reaction to the High Court ruling prohibiting the placement of 55 English-speaking learners in Höerskool Overvaal in Vereeniging, with some accusing Judge Bill Prinsloo of bias.

The judge found that the department did not have the authority to unilaterally override the school’s language policy and that it failed to assess the school’s capacity to accommodate the pupils.

READ: High Court sets aside GP Edu Dept instruction in Afrikaans school case

702's Breakfast Show host Bongani Bingwa had this to say.

At the heart of Prinsloo's decision was procedure not principle. He found that the district director Chriselda Makhubela had tried to intimidate English speaking schools in the area to say they didn't have capacity to take the learners thus forcing Overvaal to be their only option.

Bongani Bingwa, 702 Breakfast host

At the end of the day, though the courts can only make decisions based on due process, they do things by the book, there may well be merit in the MEC's view of the school. But ultimately if there was undue influence and bias found by the judge they lost the case with cost on procedure not principle.

Bongani Bingwa, 702 Breakfast host

You may have your euphemisms and not call things what they really are but if you are going to apply legal principles, you better make sure you call a spade a spade.

Bongani Bingwa, 702 Breakfast host

Click on the link below to listen to Bongani's full comment....


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High Court sets aside GP Edu Dept instruction in Afrikaans school case

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Judge Bill Prinsloo has found that the department did not have the authority to unilaterally override the school’s language policy and that it failed to assess the school’s capacity to accommodate the pupils.

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The department has been making arguments in the High Court in Pretoria in a battle against Afrikaans school Hoërskool Overvaal.

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The Education Department argues that the school is using its Afrikaans language policy to exclude black English speaking learners.

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