Afrikaans: Another four court cases to come

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February 24, 2017
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Following a report on Netwerk24, the struggle to retain Afrikaans as a university language is now moving to court with four of the country’s main universities, where they will have to defend their language policy within the next few weeks (July 2016). In the coming week AfriForum will take legal action against the University of South Africa (Unisa) as well as Stellenbosch University, and there is also a similar case to come against the University of Pretoria.

Danie Rossouw, lawyer of AfriForum, says that they are going to fight the procedure followed in making the decision as well as the constitutionality in court. According to Rossouw the Matie process is specifically managed for a particular outcome to ensure English as the default language. He explains there are indications that Matie councilors, like Kovsies, are mislead.

They will also ask the court to rule the constitutionality of Maties’ language plan. The news about AfriForum’s intention to drag Stellenbosch University to court was announced just a day after advocate Jan Heunis, the convocation’s elected representative at the Stellenbosch University council, has announced his resignation from the council. This caused speculations that Heunis resigned in order to represent AfriForum in the case against Stellenbosch University.

Heunis argued in his letter of resignation that the trust between the convocation, the board and management has gotten so big that he can no longer, with a “clear conscience” be a member of the council.

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