Former Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane and the One South Africa Movement will be considering further legal recourse following the Constitutional Court’s decision to deny them direct access to challenge government’s move to reopen schools.
The movement is against the Department of Basic Education’s decision to allow for Grade 7 and 12 pupils to return to school on Monday, 8 June 2020.
Merits of the case still stand
OSA maintains it has a case to argue in court and said the apex court only considered where it was an appropriate body to adjudicate the case from inception.
“We are seeking an order to suspend the reopening of schools for 60 days, during which the government must provide, under the direct supervision of a court (or alternatively, a mutually agreed independent supervisory body), proof of the existence of a comprehensive readiness and implementation plan, which must precede the simultaneous reopening of any grade or category of learners”, the movement said in a statement reacting to the decision.
The movement further said schools were still not ready to reopen, as such a move would endanger the lives of students, teachers and support staff as COVID-19 figures continue to rise. There are currently more than 40 000 cases of the respiratory disease in the country
“We cannot risk allowing our country’s places of learning to become petri dishes for increases in infections which may undo the value of the national lockdown”, OSA added.
Maimane is one of several, including unions and political parties who have taken issue with the announcement.
“We seek to invoke the court’s wide remedial powers by seeking structural or supervisory relief stipulating stringent conditions, without which the respondents may not implement any of the Level 3 measures and/or more specifically the reopening of schools for a period of 60 days, during which the constitutional breaches may be cured. In the supervening period, and in order to avoid a vacuum, the Level 4 regulations must be restored,” Maimane had said in his application.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are also dead set against sending learners back into the classroom, citing not enough personal protective equipment (PPEs) in schools and have also accused Minister Angie Motshekga of having run out of ideas to curb the spread.