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Pretoria - An advocate representing Hoërskool Overvaal told the North Gauteng High Court on Thursday, that the Gauteng Department of Education cannot expect a school with an Afrikaans language policy to admit English learners as this goes against the school's act.

Albert Lamey was making his head of arguments after the school in Vereeniging approached the court when the department asked them to take in 55 additional pupils who are English speaking for the 2018 academic year.

The school refused citing that it was full and does not have resources to cater for English learners and can only cater for Afrikaans speaking learners.

"You cannot by simply issuing instructions negate a policy...You cannot give a directive to enforce something which is against the policy," he said. 

Lamey argued that the department knew before hand that the learners needed to be placed but did not act on time. 

"They would have known by 20 October when admissions ended but they chose to wait."

He further stated that the school is not geared for a dual medium instruction and said the department failed in determining the capacity of the school before making a decision on placing the 55 learners. 

"That is apart from language policy. It is of grave concern that procedures have been managed in this fashion... No wonder it's chaos, placing learners and then the problem is thrown to the governing body," he argued. 

In his closing arguments, Lamey said there is a growing population of all colours who want to learn Afrikaans at the school. 

"You can't negate a single language policy where there's a growing number of that language speakers of all colours."  

A number of learners who want to be admitted at the school, attended the court proceedings with their parents wearing school uniform from their previous learning institutions. 

"I had difficulties in passing Afrikaans when I was in primary school, so I don't know what's going to happen if I get to Overvaal and be taught in Afrikaans," said 13-year-old Naledi Mpana. 

The matter was adjourned to Friday to allow the department to present their heads of argument. 

African News Agency/ANA