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Zille to keep four schools open

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iol news pic Beauvallon Primary

INLSA

The Education Department will keep Beauvallon Secondary (pictured) and three other schools open pending the outcome of a final review being expedited in court. File picture: Jason Boud

Cape Town - The closure of four Western Cape schools will be stopped if certain conditions are met, the Western Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.

Eduard Fagan, for premier Helen Zille, said the province would keep the Beauvallon, ValPark, Protea and Lavis Drive schools open pending the outcome of a final review being expedited in court.

The announcement came as an application for an urgent interdict against the decision to close 18 schools in the province was being heard.

Western Cape MEC Donald Grant cited low enrolment numbers, multi-grade classes or a decline in pupil numbers as reasons for his decision to close the schools.

Parents and teachers from affected schools are challenging the decision, saying it is unlawful and unconstitutional.

Judge Siraj Desai on Wednesday questioned the late timing of the premier's announcement, branding it “absolute gamesmanship”.

“I resent this court being used for political gamesmanship,” he said.

Desai adjourned the court for five minutes so Fagan could explain Zille's decision to him and fellow judges.

The court proceeded with the application for an interim interdict against the closure of the other 14 schools being heard.

Dozens of parents and teachers packed the courtroom. - Sapa


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