25 April 2014

The Northern Cape High Court today ruled in favour of Siamisa Motheo / Maak Die Fondasie Reg / Lungisa Umgangatho – a community based organization of teachers, parents and concerned community members – and 47 parents of learners in Vela Langa Primary School in Upington, by declaring the language policy adopted by the school’s governing body (SGB) invalid.

The court also declared that the SGB as the first respondent was in breach of its duty to promote the best interests of the school community and ordered it to consult with parents and affected members of the community within one month before adopting a new language policy.

The applicants had brought an unopposed case before the court about the language policy of the primary school, which they argued ran counter to the provisions of the South African Constitution that specifically guarantee the right to basic education, which includes the right to choose the language of instruction.

This is a significant victory for community members to ensure that school governing bodies, as their elected representatives, make decisions that promote their best interests and protect their constitutional rights.

For more information please contact:

Nikki Stein (SECTION27) via email: stein@section27.org.za or telephonically on 082 528 7232 or

Zolile Prusente (Siamisa Motheo / Maak Die Fondasie Reg / Lungisa Umgangatho) via email: zprusente@gmail.com or telephonically on 082 728 0692