Supreme court rules on racist education fund

Money from a multimillion-rand education trust fund for white women only at the University of KwaZulu-Natal was now available to all races after the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal today.

The court dismissed an appeal against a judgment and order that set aside a racially restrictive clause limiting the beneficiaries of the Emma Smith Educational Fund to white women.

The fund was established by a bequest to the then Natal University College in the will of Sir Charles George Smith, a prominent industrialist and politician, who passed away in 1941.

The trust was go towards the higher education of “European girls born of British South African or Dutch South African parents” who have been resident in Durban for a period of at least three years immediately preceding the grant or payment.

The university applied successfully to the high court to have the racially restrictive clause removed and the residential qualification of “Durban” to the “eThekwini municipality” amended.

The curators ad litem for potential beneficiaries of the fund appealed to the supreme court.

A panel of five judges unanimously held that there was a constitutional imperative to remove racially restrictive clauses that conflicted with public policy from the conditions of an educational trust intended to benefit prospective students in need.

The supreme court set aside the high court ruling in terms of “Durban” on the grounds that there was no evidence supporting the finding that a potential bursar who had to live in “Durban” would hamper the achievement of the fund’s objectives.

The Emma Smith Education Fund was one of the largest administered by the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

When the matter went to court its assets had increased to R27 million, of which R4 million was available for distribution to potential bursars.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
As a child or as an adult, have you ever been a victim of bullying?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, at school
52% - 541 votes
Yes, at work
17% - 173 votes
No, I've never experienced this
32% - 329 votes
Vote
USD/ZAR
14.31
(0.0)
GBP/ZAR
19.81
(0.0)
EUR/ZAR
17.15
(0.0)
AUD/ZAR
11.07
(0.0)
JPY/ZAR
0.13
(0.0)
Gold
1,776.67
(0.0)
Silver
25.97
(0.0)
Platinum
1,203.79
(0.0)
Brent Crude
66.77
(-0.3)
Palladium
2,781.00
(0.0)
All Share
68,699
(+1.3)
Top 40
62,898
(+1.3)
Financial 15
12,446
(+0.8)
Industrial 25
89,364
(+0.8)
Resource 10
70,350
(+2.2)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo