The One South Africa Movement has expressed disappointment at the High Court in Pretoria’s dismissal of its application over the reopening of schools. The movement, led by Mmusi Maimane, applied to have schools to remain closed until an independent body could be appointed to verify and affirm safety conditions to protect learners from contracting the coronavirus.
The court ruled that it was satisfied with the government’s efforts to mitigate the danger of the coronavirus to learners.
“We have lost the first round in court against the administration hell-bent on reopening schools in the face of increasing COVID-19 numbers. However, we have not lost the war for COVID-19 safe schools for our children,” says Maimane in a tweet.
The movement says the court’s decision further deepens inequality when it comes to access to education.
“As a movement that respects the judiciary and the courts, we respect this decision but cannot hide our disappointment in the outcome. It is the poorest schools that will continue to suffer and remain closed while affluent schools reopen, only deepening inequality in both access to and quality of education,” says the organization in a statement.
Grades 3, 6, 10, and 11 are expected to return to school on 6 July.
The movement says schools are not ready to reopen.
“The fact is that all schools are not ready to safely reopen and doing so has already put in danger the lives of students, teachers, and support staff as COVID-19 infections continue to rise,” the statement further outlines.