Motshekga to challenge textbook ruling

The basic education department will approach the Constitutional Court to appeal against a ruling over the delivery of school textbooks in Limpopo.

“I can confirm that we are appealing the judgment,” department spokesperson Troy Martens said on Monday. 

On May 5, the high court in Pretoria ruled that the department violated pupils’ rights to education by failing to deliver textbooks in the province. 

Judge Neil Tuchten said the delivery of textbooks to “certain learners but not others cannot constitute fulfillment of the right”.

“[The Constitution’s] Section 29(1)(a) confers the right of a basic education to everyone. If there is one learner who is not timeously provided with her textbooks, her right has been infringed,” the judgment said.

At the end of March, and as a last resort to get outstanding textbooks delivered to schools, Basic Education For All (Befa) launched legal action against the department.

The organisation comprises principals, school governing body members and concerned community members with the aim of standing up for pupils’ rights. 

Department’s promise
The department has promised to deliver textbooks it had failed to deliver since 2012 by June 6. Befa and organisation Section27 had asked for a court order to this effect, but Tuchten did not make the agreement between the parties on the delivery date for textbooks an order of court.

Senior counsel for the department, Chris Erasmus, previously argued that only about 2.2% of the seven-million textbooks had not been delivered. He told the court the textbooks were not delivered because of budgetary constraints and principals not informing it of shortages. 

Befa member Bruno Mabuza saidthe organisation has been “trying to tell the department about these textbook problems since Befa started. It doesn’t make sense to me why we even have to come to court over textbooks … basics … We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t think it was necessary.” – Sapa; additional reporting by Faranaaz Veriava

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Guest Author
Victoria John
Victoria studied journalism, specialising in photojournalism, at Rhodes University from 2004 to 2007. After traveling around the US and a brief stint in the UK she did a year's internship at The Independent on Saturday in Durban. She then worked as a reporter for the South African Press Association for a year before joining the Mail & Guardian as an education reporter in August 2011.

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

PPE supplier challenges Special Tribunal’s power to impose R38M sanction

The Special Investigating Unit countered that the concourt should not entertain a cynical attempt to claw back the millions made in the scandal

Davos: How SA can build a digitally competitie future based...

There are many examples of this. Kenya is using blockchain-enabled AI solutions for the unbanked to secure loans

We are not disposable, say healthcare workers

The Gauteng health department’s budget has been slashed in half, resulting in nurses who worked through the pandemic sitting at home while 10 000 posts are vacant

Clouds gathering as Safa approaches presidential elections

There are some members of the body’s national executive committee who are backing the re-election of Jordaan as the Safa president unopposed.

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…