Ilse de Lange
1 minute read
24 Aug 2013
7:30 am

Court stops protest march to school

Ilse de Lange

The ANC in Lesedi was determined to march to the Hoër Volkskool Heidelberg in protest against the expulsion and suspension of black learners after an alleged racial incident at the school, even if it meant waiting another month.

Image courtesy stock.xchnge

North Gauteng High Court Judge Nomonde Mngqibisa-Thusi on Thursday evening granted an urgent interdict to the school governing body, restraining the ANC Lesedi zonal committee from organising and marching from the Heidelberg town hall or anywhere else to the school until September 23.

Committee chairman Ernest Dlamini said the party respected the court order, but intended going ahead with the planned march after the cut-off date.

He said the reason why they wanted to march was because the school had expelled an African child and suspended 16 others after an alleged fight between black and white pupils at the school. The school’s matrics are presently writing record exams.

Civil rights group AfriForum, which supported the school’s governing body, welcomed the ruling as a victory for children’s right to quality education. “We support freedom of speech and protest action within the scope of the law, but when such action disregards issues of vital importance such as the welfare of children, quality education and the writing of exams, urgent intervention is necessary,” AfriForum Deputy CEO Alana Bailey said.

Dlamini sent a letter to the governing body on Tuesday, informing them of the planned peaceful march. The governing body launched an urgent application after repeated requests to postpone the march until after the exams fell on deaf ears.

Bailey said it was unacceptable that the ANC was willing to exploit children to promote its own political agenda. “Problems in education have already deprived the majority of learners in the country of quality education. It is high time that the ruling party serves the interests of the new generation of South Africans instead of their own political agendas.”