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Limpopo education ruling is due

Johannesburg - The Pretoria High Court will deliver judgment on Thursday on an urgent application to force the minister of basic education to deliver text books to Limpopo's public schools.

On Tuesday, Section27, a public interest law centre, applied for an urgent order to declare the government's failure to provide provincial schools with textbooks for the past six months unconstitutional.

It also wants to force the department to deliver the textbooks within a prescribed period, and to devise a catch-up plan that can be monitored.

Section27 counsel Muzi Sikhakhane argued that Limpopo's pupils were not asking for state-of-the-art laboratories, but for textbooks, which were a basic component of education.

He said it added insult to injury that pupils had to persuade the government in a democratic state that a textbook was a vital to their education.

The minister's counsel Anna Granova argued that the process had been complicated because of invalid contracts, which had to be cancelled.

She argued that the application was unnecessary, as the department had already put in place a comprehensive plan to deal with the issue and had promised to deliver the textbooks by June 15.

Granova said that it would “send out the wrong message” if the court granted an order, as it would create the impression that the government did not have a plan in place. - Sapa

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