Maimane loses Concourt bid to prevent schools from reopening
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Former DA leader Mmusi Maimane has failed in his bid to halt the reopening of schools at the Constitutional Court.
Now chief activist of the One South Africa Movement, Maimane had last week accused the Department of Basic Education of rushing to open schools, which he described as a “gamble with the lives of our children”.
Maimane, who wanted the court to take on a supervisory role in ensuring every school was safe, called on the government to only reopen schools in about three months' time due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
But the Constitutional Court on Friday dismissed his application, saying it had considered the application for "direct access to the court on an urgent basis", but concluded that the One South Africa Movement "has not made out a case for direct access and thus the application should be dismissed as it is not in the interests of justice to hear it at this stage".
The court said it had decided not to award costs.
Maimane, who launched a petition that attracted thousands of signatures, had argued that schools were not yet able to provide the necessary Covid-19 precautions for pupils, saying: “They are not ready to deliver masks for the learners. I highly doubt that the department with the track record it has had in the last 10 years will miraculously be ready in 11 days.
"This is not a question of whether some schools are ready and others are not. It is about the constitutionality of the fact that every child is guaranteed an education, every child has a right to life, and that ultimately the rights of the child are paramount."
The Western Cape opened its schools to Grade 7s and matrics this week, even after Minister Angie Motshekga had delayed it to June 8.