School teacher's desk. Picture: THE TIMES
School teacher's desk. Picture: THE TIMES

The Gauteng department of education has failed to convince the High Court in Pretoria to throw out the Hoërskool Overvaal’s legal bid to prevent 55 pupils from attending the school‚ for lack of urgency.

The department had argued that the school would suffer no harm if the 55 Grade 8 learners were admitted‚ saying the children posed no threat to the school governing body‚ which brought the application on behalf of the Afrikaans-medium school.

Kumbirai Toma‚ the department’s advocate‚ further argued‚ albeit in vain‚ that the department had put the necessary resources‚ English educators and learning material in place to ensure that the learners were not a burden to the school come Wednesday‚ January 17.

"Everything that the learners need has been provided. .. it is a sad scenario that the kids are denied access to the school‚" he said.

Toma said the school governing body also failed to give proper reasons as to why the review application could not be heard in a normal court.

But Judge Bill Prinsloo said Toma failed to make a case for lack of urgency‚ ruling that the matter would be heard in an urgent court.

Earlier‚ the school’s lawyer‚ advocate Albert Lamey‚ argued in reply that it was in the interest of the 55 learners that the matter be heard in an urgent court.

"Any delay is to their detriment‚" he said.

The Afrikaans-medium school in Vereeniging approached the court to review and set aside the department’s instruction that the school admit the 55 pupils despite the school’s insistence that it had no capacity to do so.

Judge Prinsloo indicated he wanted to deliver judgment on the matter without delay‚ possibly by Friday.