Education Dept. silent on Section27 ultimatum

Section27 has given the Dept. until Friday to reply or possibly face a new court case.

Limpopo Textbooks: Only a few books left in the warehouse. Picture: Andrea van Wyk/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Basic Education Department declined to say on Wednesday whether it will respond to a new set of questions about the Limpopo textbook crisis, asked by human rights group Section27.

The organisation has given the department until Friday to reply or possibly face a new court case.

Earlier this week, a parliamentary portfolio committee slammed the department's catch-up programme as "an insult" saying it was too vague and simplistic.

Section27 said it wanted answers about the catch-up plan and progress made in delivering textbooks.

The department has for some time now defended its catch-up plan which may prove to be the topic of a new court case being threatened by Section27.

The organisation won a court order compelling the department to take action.

But this week it had to threaten another court battle while trying to secure answers.

The department's Panyaza Lesufi would not be drawn on this.

"The last time I checked a court is a n integral venue.

"Everyone can present a case at court so if you threaten to take us to court. It means if you arrive at court first court will agree with you.

He says what happened in parliament was a "communication breakdown" which will be rectified next week.