Court dismisses union’s bid to halt ‘reckless’ decision to open schools

The Pretoria high court on Wednesday dismissed an application by the Educators’ Union of South Africa (Eusa) to stop schools from reopening.

Union spokesperson Kabelo Mahlobogwane said the court found that there was no urgency in the matter because co-operative governance & traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlaimni-Zuma, provincial education MECs and other stakeholders were not joined as respondents in the application.

The court also ruled that the application was made after schools had already reopened, said Mahlobogwane.

However, he was critical of the ruling.

“This does not make sense, as the parties had the right and opportunities to join the matter if they had interest. We saw no reason to include the Cogta minister and MECs because we were not challenging the lockdown regulations or the Disaster Management Act,” he said.

“We were challenging the reckless and deadly decision by basic education minister Angie Motshekga.”

Mahlobogwane said the union was not opposed to schools reopening but called for a form of education that would not endanger the lives of pupils or teachers.

“We believe the fact that schools had reopened was what made our application more urgent, as infections have forced more than 90 schools to close across the country within two days,” he said.

“Some learners from poor schools where PPEs are still not delivered are neglected.”

The union said it would study the judgment and make a decision on what steps to take.


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