Maimane submits second court bid to prevent school reopening

Despite having seen his bid to prevent the reopening of schools following a forced hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic dismissed by the Constitutional Court, One SA Movement (OSA) leader Msusi Maimane will again attempt to reverse the Department of Basic Education’s decision in the Pretoria High Court.

Maimane and OSA submitted their court papers to the court on Sunday 14 June, with the office of the Deputy Judge President confirming that the matter will be presided over by a full inch of judges.

FULL BENCH OF JUDGES TO PRESIDE MAIMANE SCHOOLS BID

The hearing will take place later this week, with 18 and 19 June set aside for Judges Mlambo, Kollapen and Keightley to consider the merit in the political movement’s case.

Maimane has been consistently discerning of the move to reopen schools, with the former Democratic Alliance (DA) leader having said that he believes a sharp increase in the spread of the virus will result, with South Africa’s children put in jeopardy of falling ill.

His Constitutional Court bid to oppose the move on the grounds that the Department of Basic Education had prioritised saving the academic year over the lives of children, but the court dismissed his claim, saying that it had little to no chance of succeeding.

But Maimane believes his case still has legs.

“We are seeking an order to suspend the reopening of schools for 60 days, during which the government must provide, under the direct supervision of a court (or alternatively, a mutually agreed independent supervisory body), proof of the existence of a comprehensive readiness and implementation plan, which must precede the simultaneous reopening of any grade or category of learners,” said OSA in a statement.

MAIMANE TIPS LESUFI FOR NEXT EDUCATION MINISTER

Maimane also took time on over the weekend to convey his relief that Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza lesufi had received a negative result having been tested for COVID-19. Maimane wished him well and appears to endorse him for a major role should his party decide to run for office at some stage.

“We need you in good health when you become Minister of Basic Education,” Maimane tweeted on Sunday.

Lesufi accepte mailman’s throwing down of the gauntlet last week after he was asked to do a walk around of Gauteng’s schools with Maimane and prove that they were indeed ready to reopen.

“I’m going to ignore all the shade you are throwing because I don’t politicise education. This is an important thing, making sure that every child in Gauteng has the best school that is Covid-19 ready,” said Maimane.

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