Mmusi Maimane loses ConCourt bid to not have schools reopen

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Maimane argued that the department had made a rash decision to reopen schools for Grade 7 and 12 learners when they aren’t safe.
Founder of the One South Africa (OSA) movement Mmusi Maimane has lost his Constitutional Court bid to have the department of basic education reopen schools the “right” way.

The judgment read: “The Constitutional Court has considered the application for direct access to the Court on an urgent basis. It has concluded that the applicant has not made out a case for direct access and thus the application should be dismissed as it not in the interest of justice to hear at this stage. The court has decided not to award costs.”

Maimane argued that the department had made a rash decision to reopen schools for Grade 7 and 12 learners, highlighting poor infrastructure, school overcrowding, staff shortages, sanitation, and public transport as the motivation behind his application.

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Responding to the judgment, he said: “As you know for weeks we have been raising the issue of school readiness. We went directly to the Constitutional Court of South Africa seeking a supervisory order to make sure that schools were reopened the right way. We unfortunately lost round one of this fight.”

Maimane did send the court affidavit to the government’s attorney who had until Friday to respond to OSA’s challenge to the reopening of schools.

State attorney AGF Mokgale said the court application against the state sought far-reaching relief, which was complex and required a careful response from government.

Maimane said they will relook their strategy: “We will be going back to the drawing board with the lawyers to figure out what the best steps forward will be. The issue remains ever so critical. Making sure that the schools are Covid-19 safe. We have not seen anything indicating that they are, even this week.”

– The Citizen


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