The Pietermaritzburg High Court delivered judgment in favour of AfriForum and the Nkungumathe community in Nkandla today to force the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education to build them a school, as had been undertaken more than a decade ago. The case started in 2016. Judge Rashid Vahed ruled in favour of the community and ordered that the school be built and that the community must be involved with the planning. The case was won with cost.
According to Alana Bailey, Deputy CEO of AfriForum, the verdict is an enormous victory for the community and AfriForum is delighted by it.
The civil rights organisation became involved in the case after leaders of the Mpungose Traditional Council and Nkungumathe community had approached AfriForum for assistance. AfriForum assisted several Afrikaans schools before with legal aid in order to protect quality mother-tongue education and believes that the rights of the learners of Nkandla must be protected and promoted on the same underlying principle.
“It is scandalous that the State was willing to spend millions on former President Jacob Zuma’s home in Nkandla, while children in the same district have to suffer because of a lack of access to a school. This injustice is something that AfriForum will oppose most strongly,” says Bailey.
Bailey mentions that South Africa is one of the countries in the world that allocates the highest percentage of its national budget to education. “Under these circumstances it is tragic that a lengthy court battle was required to provide these children with access to a basic constitutional right, namely access to a school. Unfortunately, children are increasingly becoming pawns in ideological games and are thus being robbed of a future.”
AfriForum and the community will closely monitor the execution of the court order to ensure that justice will finally prevail for the learners.
- A ForumNuus video on the community’s struggle can be viewed here: https://forumnuus.co.za/afriforum-reik-uit-na-nkandla-gemeenskap.