Translate legislation into all languages, SCA hears

2016-02-18 13:35


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Bloemfontein - South African legislation should be translated into all official languages, the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein heard on Thursday.

In August 2014, the government was taken to the Equality Court in a bid to get it to publish legislation in all 11 official languages.

Language activist Cornelius Lourens said Parliament discriminated against 10 of the 11 official languages because legislation was only published in English.

He said this created the impression that English was the "super official language".

The government had argued that it was simply not practical to publish in all 11 languages.

Lourens, representing himself in the SCA and speaking in Afrikaans, told the court it was unfair for government acts to be translated in only two languages.

He said the government should accommodate diversity.

"If a court case is in KwaZulu-Natal where English, Afrikaans or Venda are not spoken, then there is a problem... things should not be limited to a certain language.   

"I base my challenge on unfair discrimination. It is unfair how things are done or implemented," he said.

But Judge Carole Lewis commented that she had a problem with Lourens' argument.

She said the Constitution did not say acts of government must be translated into all 11 official languages.

The matter continues.

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  legislation

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