AfriForum Wins University Of Free State’s Language Policy Case


BuzzSouthAfrica learnt that Afriforum has won the University of Free State language policy.

Reports have it that the High Court in Bloemfontein today, ruled in favor of AfriForum. Hence, it ordered a stop to the proposed change of the University of Free State language policy.

It was in March that the University agreed to use English language as the primary medium of instruction come 2017.

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As it happened, the University’s council decided that English should be the medium of instruction. They agreed that the new language policy should be enforced at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Among other things, the council inducted English as the primary formal language of the University administration. Albeit, it stipulated that enough multilingualism should be allowed across the institution of learning.

With the new language policy decision, AfriForum took the University’s language policy issue to court the previous month.

New Language Policy Violates SA Constitution

AfriForum told the High court that the removal of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction at the University is a violation of the Constitution. And thus, requested the court to interdict the decision.

Representing Afriforum, Advocate Greta Engelbrecht argued that the University’s council decision was unconstitutional.

“There is a Constitutional issue at stake. We should consider law students who might want to offer their services in Afrikaans. And most of the students studying theology preferred Afrikaans.

(The university) wish to shackle Afrikaans in its historical notion of oppression,” Engelbrecht stated.

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Nonetheless, Jeremy Gauntlett SC who represented the university pointed out that language is making racial segregation thrive in classes. Gauntlett argued that the university adopted the new policy believing it’s the best way to unite everyone.

Also, he indicated that there is a high demand for English. And disclosed that the implementation of the policy will prevent job losses at the university.

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