Ruling on W Cape school reserved

2013-06-11 17:37


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - The Western Cape High Court reserved judgment on Tuesday on a matter of 17 schools in the province who are disputing a decision to close them down.

Lawyers for School Governing Bodies (SGBs), Western Cape Education MEC Donald Grant and his national counterpart Angie Motshekga, concluded arguments in a two-day review application.

Earlier, Grant's legal team argued teacher union Sadtu should pay the legal costs should the schools lose their legal battle to stay open.

Eduard Fagan, for Grant and his department, told the court the matter was clearly politically motivated.

He cited the presence of African National Congress Western Cape chairperson Marius Fransman during proceedings on Monday as proof of this.

The ANC-affiliated SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) is also an applicant in the matter.

Fagan said the province would not be seeking costs from the SGBs, but Sadtu should be made to pay costs because of the political nature of the case.

Fagan on Tuesday concluded his arguments in court, insisting the process leading to the decision to close the schools was legally and procedurally fair. He said the Schools Act did not compel his client to consult affected communities.

The provincial department did, however, give SGBs an opportunity, during public hearings last year, to make representations to Grant on his intention to close schools.

Fagan argued Grant supplied the schools with sufficient reasons for their closure before they were asked to make representations.

The Western Cape education department is in agreement with a minority judgment by Judge Dennis Davis last year. In the minority judgment, Davis said after "anxious reflection" he would only have made an order in the case of two schools.

He found Grant had complied with the Schools Act in allowing representations, and that there was no legal basis for importing the concept "meaningful engagement" into the wording of that section.

The act ultimately empowered Grant to make the final decision on school closures, he said.

His two colleagues, Siraj Desai and Elizabeth Baartman, did not agree and granted the schools an urgent interdict halting the closures, pending the outcome of a final review process.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    cape town  |  education  |  local government publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

VIDEO: 5 scintillating RWC tries from the weekend
World Cup 'curse' talk annoys Cameron
Meyer taking no chances
Butch happy with ‘best possible’ Bok side
Traffic Alerts

Are you burning the candle at both ends? Listen to your body and your emotional reactions. Know when to slow down or stop. It is more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.