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Judgment on school closures welcomed

The lawyer representing 17 WC schools says they feel vindicated by the ruling.

The parents that took the Western Cape Education MEC are happy the judge ruled in their favour.

CAPE TOWN - A lawyer representing 17 Western Cape schools identified for closure on Friday said he is glad the court has ruled in their favour.

The schools, their governing bodies and teacher unions lodged an urgent interdict against Education MEC Donald Grant and Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to prevent them from shutting down the schools.

In October, Grant announced that 20 schools in the province would be closed down due to dwindling pupil numbers and poor results.

On Friday, Judge Siraj Desai ruled that 17 of the schools could remain open in the New Year.

Lawyer Jerald Andrews says they feel vindicated.

"We were always confident and convinced that the minister's decision was wrong. We're just glad that the doors of learning will be kept open for our children."

Lavisrylaan parent Beranice Sinzingayo says she is glad her two little girls will get to go back to the same school in 2013.

"Thank God for the judgment today."

Meanwhile, Grant says he stands by his original decision to close 20 schools as it is in the best interest of the learners.

The MEC still believes he made the right decision.

"My decision to close these schools was taken after careful consideration of all representations made to me and with the best intention of the learners at heart. I stand by each one of my decisions."

Grant said, "The effect of the order could be that learners return to schools that we believe we have sound reasons to close. Our policy is committed to improving education outcomes for all the learners in this province."