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Limpopo textbook saga: Rights violated

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria handed down its judgment on Tuesday.

FILE: A photograph taken by the DA leader in Limpopo, Desiree van der Walt, shows boxes abandoned in a hall, apparently full of undelivered textbooks. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The North Gauteng High Court on Tuesday ruled the Basic Education Department violated the rights of Limpopo children by not delivering all textbooks on time.

The Pretoria court handed down its judgment today in a case brought by non-government organisation Basic Education for All.

The department was taken to court in a bid to force officials to deliver textbooks.

Government has been ordered to pay back all the costs of the case and has been given deadlines of Thursday and early June to ensure all pupils have books.

The department's Elijah Mhlanga said Tuesday's ruling was not overwhelmingly in favour of either side.

"There was no outright winner as such. I cannot say there was a winner and there was a loser, it's a middle of the road type of judgment, which notes that we should have delivered books on time. But that's something that we have acknowledged."

Section 27 maintains the ruling is a major victory.

Lawyer Nikki Steyn says it is unfortunate the matter ended up in court in the first place.

"I think the application was successful. It's always unfortunate when you have to approach a court to compel the respondents to comply with their constitutional obligations."