The Supreme Court of Appeal set aside a court order that stopped the University of the Free State from implementing its new language policy as part of a pilot project.
The SCA upheld the appeal with costs. From 2017, the UFS will roll out a pilot project of the new policy in three faculties – law, humanities and medical. From 2018, the policy will apply to first year students in all faculties except theology and education.
The SCA held AfriForum had not provided proof that any prospective student in any of the three affected faculties stands to be prejudiced by the introduction of the new language policy in 2017. The High Court on 21 July 2016 set aside the decision of the UFS Council to “adopt and approve” the new language policy for the UFS. The appeal of the UFS against the 21 July court order will be heard by the SCA in due course.
The UFS’s appeal against this decision prompted AfriForum to approach the court for another order implementing the 21 July decision, pending the finalisation of the appeal. The UFS opposed the application, but on 12 September 2016, the High Court ordered that its order of 21 July 2016 would remain in force, pending the finalisation of the appeal against it. This decision was set aside by the SCA on Thursday.