Bloemfontein – The Christian Democratic Party (CDP) says the Concourts decision to have English as the preferred language at the University of the Free State (UFS), is punishment for Afrikaans speaking students
Reverend Theunis Botha, says the new language policy does not auger well for all the different languages, in what is supposed to be a multilingual South Africa.
“The majority judgement saw three members of the bench disagree with the rest. The fact that the three dissenting votes came from only white judges appears that there is a racial divide even in the Concourt,” says Botha.
Botha adds that the judgement has nothing to do with the Constitutional right to have students study in their mother tongue, and that Afrikaans is the official home language of more than 10 million citizens in the country.
This, after OFM News Nomaqhawe Mtebele, reported that the University of the Free State will be applying their new Language Policy to all faculties of the institution. The Constitutional Court ruled in favour of the university’s policy of English as the primary language of instruction.
This was adapted in March 2016, when Afrikaans and English were replaced as parallel mediums of instruction. It was approved by an internal council. The policy had already been implemented in the Health Science, Humanities, and Law faculties. According to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Francis Petersen the policy is not a victory against Afrikaans but a step towards inclusivity on campus.
The Constitutional Court denied Afriforum and Solidarity’s application for leave to appeal the Supreme Court of Appeal’s ruling in favour of the University of the Free State’s new language policy. Afriforum and Solidarity wanted the court to dismiss the UFS’s decision to adopt a new language policy.
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng found that the University was right in its decision to remove Afrikaans as a language of instruction, except in certain very specific cases.
They agreed with the University’s council’s view that retaining it perpetuates unfair preference given to the language, and promotes racial division.
JOSCA HUMAN / OFM NEWS