Rob Rose Editor: Financial Mail

Sometimes you wonder how government officials can so quickly veer away from the sort of principles that, you’d imagine, would have led them into public service in the first place. Take a little-known court case, which took place in the Grahamstown high court last week. In that case, the Centre for Child Law, as well as 37 children, took basic education minister Angie Motshekga and the Eastern Cape education department to court on an urgent basis to ask that they be allowed the luxury of going to a public school when the schools reopen next year on January 9. Motshekga’s department fought grimly to stop this. Those children are, in some cases, as young as six, others as old as 17. Most are SA citizens, some with a mother from Lesotho and a father from SA, some whose parents are both from SA, and some whose parents have either died or abandoned them. The common denominator: none of these children has a birth certificate, so the education department either booted them out of school, or...

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