Pretoria schools lose court bid against Gauteng education dept

Pretoria - A court bid by two Pretoria schools to prevent the Gauteng education department from enrolling more pupils than they can handle was struck off the roll of the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday.

"It has been deemed as not urgent and removed from the court roll. It was a pity that we had to do something like this in court," Federation of Governing Bodies for South African Schools CEO Paul Colditz told News24.

The court referred the matter back to the Overkruin and Montana high schools, and the department, to investigate the merits of the case.

Colditz said Montana had capacity for 245 pupils, but 340 had been enrolled. Overkruin had space for 250 pupils, but 298 had been enrolled.

"This will always be a problem until the Gauteng department makes it their number one priority to create more schools," he said.

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said Montana residents felt the demographics of their area had changed. While the school was predominantly Afrikaans, residents wanted more classes to cater for English-speaking children.

Lesufi said they were in discussions with the school to do so.

"Yesterday [Tuesday], we were confronted with court papers that we should appear in court, because the schools feel that they are under pressure."

He said the department was caught off guard by the interdict application.

"I am open-minded about the situation. I would never pressurise something that can compromise education," he said.