High Court dismisses schools’ application to interdict department
The High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday struck off the roll an urgent application by the governing bodies of two Pretoria high schools that had sought to have the court interdict the Gauteng education department from instructing them to admit more pupils.
The application by the governing bodies of Hoërskool Montana and Hoërskool Overkruin was served to the department on Tuesday afternoon.
It followed an instruction from the department to the principals on Monday to send letters to about 40 prospective learners‚ at each school‚ advising them of their admissions.
The department said if the principals failed to send the letters‚ the department would inform learners of their placement.
Greta Engelbrecht, counsel for the school governing bodies, said the department sought to interfere in the role of the school governing bodies‚ which had the power to determine admissions to schools.
Engelbrecht argued that the schools did not have the capacity to accommodate extra learners.
She said she had been informed that at Hoërskool Montana there were 340 grade 8 learners‚ and that it had the capacity to accommodate about 345 pupils.
While Engelbrecht was still addressing the court‚ Judge Ntendeya Mavundla said he was of the view that this matter should not be heard by the court for lack of urgency.
"I am of the view that the matter is not extremely urgent. Applicants should pay the costs of the respondents‚" Mavundla said.
When Engelbrecht explained to Mavundla that she was still addressing the court‚ Mavundla said he thought she had finished.
He did not give her a chance to finish‚ adding, "You have missed the boat."