PRETORIA HIGH COURT REJECTS APPLICATION FOR AFRIKAANS TO REMAIN A TEACHING LANGUAGE

The High Court in Pretoria has rejected an application by civil rights group AfriForum to have Afrikaans, the language of the Dutch settlers in southern Africa, to remain as one of the languages of teaching at the University of Pretoria.

AfriForum Deputy Chief Executive Officer Alana Bailey Thursday described the ruling is a blow to South African language rights.

AfricaForum brought the application at the beginning of the month after the university announced that English would be the only teaching language at the university in future.

Bailey said AfriForum would study the judgment before deciding whether to ask for leave to appeal against it.

“We are very disappointed about this judgment because we feel it’s a blow to language rights in general in South Africa,” she said.

“We feel that if a language that has developed to a higher function level, like Afrikaans, is phased out, then the chance that any of the other nine indigenous South African languages will ever be developed to that level is very slim.

“That takes away the language rights of more than 90 per cent of South Africans who are not first-language English-speakers. We would like to see that language rights are more fully recognized in future.”

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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