Gauteng MEC of Education Panyaza Lesufi. FILE PHOTO: ANA

Johannesburg - Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi on Friday said the adverse court ruling he suffered only challenged the administration of the department and not non-racialism. 

"It says the timelines that we gave people were ignored. It challenges the administration of the department and not non-racialism," said Lesufi while visiting Hoërskool Overvaal - an Afrikaans medium school in Veereniging.

Lesufi's comments come a day after the Constitutional Court, in a unanimous judgment, turned down his appeal of an earlier ruling by the Pretoria High Court which stopped him from forcing Hoërskool Overvaal to enrol 55 English-speaking pupils.

The Afrikaans medium high school made headlines at the beginning of the 2018 school year after the 55 English pupils were denied enrollment. The school said it was full and also could not afford to hire English teachers for the group of students.

On Wednesday, the Constitutional Court ruled that Lesufi had not given enough consideration on whether neighbouring English medium schools such as General Smuts and Phoenix high schools, which both fall in the same feeder zone as Hoërskool Overvaal, had enough capacity to admit the pupils.

Lesufi on Friday insisted on tackling the race issue, saying: "We are all human beings. There is no one who had taken a decision that one person is more important than the other." 

He added: "We don't need the court to help us build a non-racial South Africa. Those who want to build a non-racial society must do so where they are." 

African News Agency (ANA)