Rivonia Primary stands by its decision

The school said public schools are like buses and can accommodate only so many pupils.

The Rivonia Primary has submitted court papers defending its decision not to accommodate a grade one learner. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Rivonia Primary School's governing body on Friday said public schools are like buses and can accommodate only so many pupils before becoming safety hazards.

In new court papers, the school answered to claims made by Equal Education and the Centre for Child Law, which have both applied to be part of a court case over admissions.

In May, Rivonia Primary will face the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) in the Constitutional Court over who has the final say on a school's capacity.

The case started when the school refused to place a grade one pupil for the 2011 academic year.

The governing body has described claims made by the two organisations as "unfortunate, speculative, irrational and even absurd".

The governing body argued the GDE needed to deliver on its obligations rather than overburden well-run schools and lower standards of education.

The organisations agree with government in that every child has a right to education and privileged schools should not be allowed to shut them out.

The GDE has accused Rivonia Primary of ignoring the legacy of apartheid.

However, the school said race was being used to obscure the real issue and there was no space in education for what it called a "fluid approach to statutory interpretation".