Civil rights group Afriforum Youth on Friday obtained an interim order forcing the University of Stellenbosch to reinstate Afrikaans as a medium of instruction.
The group’s representatives appeared briefly in the Western Cape High Court where they applied for an urgent order to force the university to implement its language policy.
Deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso granted it. It meant the university had to revert to its “approved language policy” by March 29.
Afriforum lawyer Daniel Rossouw said the university would be required to give English and Afrikaans equal status as mediums of instruction. The parties would return to court at a date still to be determined.
They felt compelled to approach the court after they discovered that some faculties did not comply with the university’s language policy.
“We had to come to court to force the university to implement its own language policy. Students registered in Afrikaans for courses that are supposed to be in Afrikaans and English.”
He said they had received a mandate and students wanted to get a tertiary education in their own language. They were happy with the outcome of the application.
“This is not only a victory for Stellenbosch, but a national victory to tell universities that is our constitutional right to have Afrikaans as a language in tertiary institutions, and we will fight for that. Not only in the Western Cape, but on other campuses as well.”