Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) spokesperson Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has said Thursday’s Constitutional Court ruling on Stellenbosch University’s language policy confirms that “Afrikaans must fall.”
The Court upheld the university’s 2016 decision to give preference to English over Afrikaans as the main medium of teaching under certain circumstances.
In a Twitter post, Ndlozi said “the ‘End of Afrikaans’ as a language of domination is being consolidated.”
He was seemingly directing his tweet at those “who seek [Afrikaans’] usage to maintain dominance and exclusivity.”
ConCourt’s language policy ruling
The Constitutional Court ruled that Stellenbosch University’s decision was aimed at enabling equitable access to “black students who are not conversant with Afrikaans.”
It found that retaining the previous policy that gave preference to Afrikaans would have excluded non-Afrikaans speakers from full participation at the university.
A number of political figures have welcomed the ruling, including Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi.
He tweeted, “The debate is now officially over – an Afrikaans-only academic institution cannot be justified.”
Ndlozi’s followers react
Ndlozi’s tweet sparked an intense debate among his followers. Some argued that he had misunderstood the ruling.
Adrian John Kennedy replied, “I wish you would just read and understand the judgment. It enforces the 2016 language policy of the university which still preserves and maintains Afrikaans alongside English.
“How does this translate to the Court confirming, on your allegation, that Afrikaans must fall?”
Langale Balele added, “Please read with understanding if you are capable of that scarce South African skill.”
Others, such as Luke Waltham, agreed with Ndlozi: “As a student at Stellenbosch University and a member of the progressive forces calling for transformation, we welcome this and hope that all mechanisms and systems of oppression are dismantled.”