On Thursday, the Constitutional Court found that the language policy adopted by the University of Stellenbosch in 2016, to prefer English over Afrikaans as a language of instruction, was “constitutionally justified”.
In 2016, in response to pressure from student groups such as #OpenStellenbosch, the university finally reversed its language policy, giving primacy to English instead of Afrikaans. Gelyke Kanse, an organisation attempting to reverse this decision, argued in court that this ruling in effect discriminated against brown-skinned, Afrikaans-first language students.
The court found that the policy pre-2016, which gave Afrikaans supremacy as a language of instruction, resulted in “the exclusion of non-Afrikaans speakers from full participation in tuition and other institutional benefits”.
Featured image via Flickr