Mmusi Maimane’s appeal against the Department of Education’s decision to reopen schools has been dismissed by the Constitutional Court.
According to reports, the court said it had “concluded that the application should be dismissed as it is not in the interests of justice to hear it at this stage,” and did not award any costs.
Last month, Maimane and his One South Africa movement had faced a similar dismissal when he challenged the department’s decision to reopen schools for most grades amid a Covid-19 surge.
The Gauteng High Court dismissed his application, finding “no evidence” that suggested Motshekga and her department “took a callous approach” in reopening schools across the country.
According to the High Court judgement, the evidence showed that indeed the right to life served as the departure point for the fourth respondent (Motshekga) in reaching the decision that she did.
In Maimane’s affidavit, filed to the ConCourt, he argued that the North Gauteng High Court had erred on several legal points when it allowed schools to reopen.
In a twist of events, Maimane and his movement are ‘comfortable’ despite the application dismissal as the Cabinet had already decided to close schools at that point.
In his weekend column, Maimane said the decision on whether or not to close schools was about stopping the spread of Covid-19 and saving lives, and he wanted all learners to return to schools that champion a reformed and equitable education system.
Three weeks ago, the president announced a month-long break for public schools with Grade 12s and 7s returning on August 3 and August 10, respectively. The rest of the grades will return on August 24.