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Court Dismisses Maimane's Bid To Close Schools

The High Court has dismissed an application by Mmusi Maimane's One South Africa Movement (OSAM) to keep schools closed.

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In the application, OSAM requested for schools to remain closed until an independent body could confirm that safety conditions were met. The judges ruling on the case decided to dismiss the application because the decision to reopen schools was not irrational as health, sanitation and safety measures were put in place.

 "It cannot be irrational for the reopening of schools to occur in a staggered fashion, as the objective sought to be achieved is to link the reopening to the state of readiness of each school."

The judges felt that OSAM could not prove that the government's plans to reopen schools were poorly executed and not supported by citizens. 

"Their case in this regard is premised on nothing more than bald statements, assertions and conclusions of fact without any underpinning or supporting evidence."

OSAM released a statement stating they were disappointed by the High Court's decision to dismiss the case.

"Just yesterday, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) confirmed that 775 schools have been affected since reopening last month, with 1,169 teachers and 523 children testing positive for Covid-19. We have not yet reached the peak of infections in South Africa, and the risk to the health, safety and wellbeing of children and teachers increases daily." said OSAM in the statement.

OSAM does not agree with the court's ruling, as it fears that schools could become hotspots for the transmission of the virus.

"The fact is that all schools are not ready to safely reopen, and doing so has already put in danger the lives of students, teachers and support staff as Covid-19 infections continue to rise.

Although disappointed by the outcome, OSAM has committed itself to continue advocating for safe schools. 

 

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