In a rare glimmer of light in a stricken education sector, the government has entirely capitulated in a lawsuit that shone an unforgiving light on just how callous bureaucrats can be towards the country’s most disempowered. Last year the Centre for Child Law, representing 37 children, took basic education minister Angie Motshekga and the Eastern Cape education department to court, on an urgent basis, to plead that they be allowed to go to school. But reprehensibly Motshekga, as well as the department of home affairs, did their damnedest to stop this. They argued that the 37 children, ranging in age from six to 17, shouldn’t be allowed to go to school since they didn’t have birth certificates. Most of their stories are like that of 11-year-old Mpho, whose mother died when Mpho was four, in 2011. With no-one to look after her, Mpho was taken in by 54-year-old Matabello Moeketsi, who lives in Dukathole in Aliwal North. But Mpho was booted out of school in grade 3 in 2015 because she ha...

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