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Ruling against 'kitchen Zulu'

By unknown | Oct 02, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sbu Ndebele has welcomed the decision of the equality court, which found that a Durban School's former language policy discriminated against its isiZulu-speaking learners.

The ruling was made after Ntombenhle Nkosi went to court to complain that her son was being taught "kitchen Zulu" at Durban High School.

Nkosi filed her complaint with the equality court on behalf of her son against the school and its governing body in October last year.

Nkosi, who is also the CEO of the Pan South African Language Board, argued that her son, whose mother tongue is IsiZulu, was discriminated against by the school by being taught his language as third level IsiZulu, which should be offered to non- IsiZulu speakers.

She argued that the school was able to offer English and Afrikaans at higher and correct levels according to the Department of Education's national curriculum statement on languages.

Equality court magistrate John Sanders found that by offering Afrikaans as a subject at a higher level than isiZulu in 2007 in grades 8 and 9 constituted unfair discrimination against all pupils in those grades whose home language was isiZulu.

Sanders ruled in favour of Nkosi and her son as he found that both had been unfairly discriminated against by the school.

In response Ndebele app-lauded Nkosi's efforts and said that her actions should serve as an example to others.

"With the 2,7 million learners in schools in KwaZulu-Natal, there is a fair assumption that our children should be able to read English and isiZulu," the premier said.

"This irrespective of whether they are Indian, black, coloured or white. In this way we will create a nation that will be able to speak to itself.

"Children today are studying in a nonracial South Africa, unlike the kids of the past.

"All schools must take note of this decision. If a school in KwaMashu is teaching any of the official languages poorly they, too, will be taken to task."


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