Human Rights Commission mulls court action as Western Cape schools reopen

Human Rights Commission mulls court action as Western Cape schools reopen

The South African Human Rights Commission says it has written to the Western Cape Department of Education, calling on it to halt learning until June 8.


Pupils across the country were set to return to the classroom on Monday but at the 11th hour, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga shifted the goalposts.

SAHRC commissioner Andre Gaum says the Western Cape should not be exempt from this decision.

“We have written to the MEC for Education in the Western Cape requesting an undertaken by 14:00 tomorrow that schools would be closed, except for the Covid-19 orientation of educators and staff.

“Learners should only return by Monday,” says Gaum.


We told minister schools are not ready - unions

On Monday, Motshekga confirmed that schools would only reopen in a week's time. "Had the minister made this announcement yesterday, we may have been a little bit more excited about it in fact what the minister told us, we all knew already," said Naptosa president Basil Manuel.

The SAHRC believes the decision by the province’s government means the rest of the country will be left behind.

“Our main concern is the opening of some schools would exclude others and it would also then exclude learners from other provinces from basic education, while learners from the Western Cape received basic education.

“No one should be left behind.”

He adds: “It’s an equality issue.”

The provincial department has until 14:00 on Tuesday to respond to the SAHRC before the commission mulls further action.

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