Eastern Cape High Court orders the appointment of teachers in the Eastern Cape

The judgment of the Eastern Cape High Court, handed down on 3rd August 2012, is a groundbreaking vindication of the state’s duties to ensure children have a basic education.
SECTION27 salutes the Centre for Child Law, a number of School Governing Bodies from schools in the Eastern Cape and their legal team, the Legal Resources Centre (LRC), for this important victory for the rights of learners to learn and teachers to teach.

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DBE ‘catch up plan’ a violation of the court order and the agreement between SECTION27 and the Minister of Basic Education

Yesterday SECTION27 received the Department of Basic Education’s (DBE) progress report on the implementation of the catch-up plan (this and the catch-up plan are attached). While we are still studying and seeking expert input on the catch-up plan, we believe that it is inadequate and a clear violation of both the 17 May order of court and the settlement agreement between SECTION27 and the DBE which was made an order of court on 26 June.

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TAC intervention leads to important legal advance: public interest concerns are relevant in determining interim interdict in patent cases

On 26 July 2012, the Supreme Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in the matter between the Aventis group of pharmaceutical companies and Cipla’s group of generic pharmaceutical companies.

This is the first judgment to decisively say that public interest considerations must be taken into account when balancing the interests of the patentee and the infringer in determining whether or not to grant an interim interdict. The judgment is an important advance in the law that is in line with the values of the Constitution.

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SECTION27 complaint against State of Qatar to United Nations Special Rapporteur for Health

SECTION27 has sent a request to the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Health, reqesting him to investigate alleged violations of the right to health against the State of Qatar. In October 2010, “MR” was employed by Al Jazeera English as a Senior Editor and moved to Qatar. Following severe discrimination and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by both Al Jazeera and Qatar, MR was detained by Qatari authorities, and then unfairly dismissed by Al Jazeera and deported from Qatar in January 2011. The reason for his detention, dismissal and deportation was his HIV status. This is a direct violation of the right to health and cannot be condoned.

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SECTION27 Statement on Report by Professor Mary Metcalfe Verifying the Delivery of Textbooks to Limpopo Schools in terms of the Order of the North Gauteng High Court

SECTION27 and the Department of Basic Education released the ‘verification report’ into the delivery of textbooks to learners in grades 1-3 and grade 10 in Limpopo Schools.We thank Professor Metcalfe and her team. Not only have they done a great amount of work in the last two weeks, but they have made a personal sacrifice out of a commitment to the right to basic education.

SECTION27’s intention is not to vilify any particular person. However, we maintain our position that once the National Executive (Cabinet) decided to intervene in Limpopo under s100(1)(b) of the Constitution they assumed, through the DBE, full responsibility for meeting minimum standards for the delivery of basic education services within the Province.

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Minister of Basic Education treats education of learners and the legal system with utter contempt

Today was meant to be the day that the vital hearing of the case on teacher post provisioning would be heard in the Eastern Cape High Court, Grahamstown. Hundreds of thousands of learners’ education depends on a positive outcome to this case, and a finding as to whether the provincial and national government have violated their rights.
However, once again the Minister of Basic Education and her department treated the court, and all the parties before the court, with contempt.

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CENTRE FOR CHILD LAW AND LEGAL RESOURCES CENTRE BRING VITAL CASE TO GRAHAMSTOWN HIGH COURT ON APPOINTMENT OF TEACHERS

Today a crucial case is being heard in the Eastern Cape High Court (Grahamstown) that has been brought by the Centre for Child Law and five school governing bodies, represented by the Legal Resources Centre. The case concerns the unequal and unfair distribution of teachers to schools in the province and the failure of the Eastern Cape Department of Basic Education (ECDBE) to implement their own ‘post provisioning plan’ for 2012. A post provisioning plan is a plan to ensure that there is a fair distribution of teachers to all schools in the province and that schools have the teachers (and other staff) that they require to provide basic education.

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Another fight in Basic Education: SECTION27 intervenes in Eastern Cape Teacher Crisis

On 12 July 2012, the Eastern Cape High Court will hear an application brought by the Legal Resources Centre on behalf of the Centre for Child Law and the governing bodies of five schools in the Eastern Cape Province. The application relates to the failure by the Eastern Cape Department of Basic Education and the National Department of Basic Education to implement the 2012 post establishment in public schools in the Eastern Cape. SECTION27, acting on behalf of the National Association of School Governing Bodies, has applied for leave to intervene as amicus curiae in this application. The focus of our intervention is the obligations arising from the National Department’s intervention in the Provincial Department in terms of section 100(1)(b) of the Constitution, following failed attempts at collaboration and co-operation with the Provincial Department.

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The United States Supreme Court upholds the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

SECTION27 applauds yesterday’s decision by the United States Supreme Court to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Act is President Barack Obama’s comprehensive health care reform legislation. It has the potential to enable the United States to achieve a goal that all countries, including South Africa, should strive toward: universal health care that is both high quality and affordable. In other words, quality health care for everyone.

The question for South Africans becomes: what lessons should South Africa take from this?

Read the entire statement by clicking “read more” below

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SECTION27 STATEMENT ON LIMPOPO TEXTBOOK CRISIS & STATE OF DELIVERY BY DEADLINE OF 27 JUNE

SECTION27 and the Department of Basic Education (DBE) held a press conference today, 28 June 2012, regarding the delivery of textbooks to Limpopo learners and compliance with the court order and settlement agreement coming out of SECTION27’s litigation against the DBE and the Limpopo Department of Education. SECTION27 is calling for an independent verification of the report that textbooks have been delivered. Read SECTION27’s full press statement by clicking “read more” below.

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SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT REACHED ON PROVISION OF TEXTBOOKS TO LEARNERS IN GRADES R, 1, 2, 3 AND 10 IN LIMPOPO PROVINCE

Today representatives of the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and SECTION27 met to try to resolve the ongoing challenge of availability of textbooks to learners in Limpopo and compliance with the court order of Judge Kollapen, which was delivered on 17 May 2012. The case was brought by SECTION27, Hanyani Thomo Secondary School and Mrs Lydia Masiphephethu. The parties agreed that all textbooks would be delivered to all schools by 27 June 2012 and that the DBE will develop a plan for extra tuition and support for learners and teachers to remedy the effects of the lack of textbooks for half of the academic year.

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