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Maimane files papers in ConCourt to halt phased reopening of schools

The One South Africa Movement proposed through an online petition that schools should remain closed for another three months.

FILE:  One South Africa Movement founder Mmusi Maimane. Picture: 702.

JOHANNESBURG - One South Africa Movement founder Mmusi Maimane on Monday said he had filed papers in the Constitutional Court as he mounted a legal challenge against Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga over the reopening of schools.

The One South Africa Movement proposed through an online petition that schools should remain closed for another three months.

Some schools reopened for grades 7 and 12 on Monday, after having been shut two months ago to prevent transmission of COVID-19.

All schools are expected to resume classes next Monday.

Maimane wanted the apex court to instruct schools and Motshekga not to reopen yet.

The minister has faced heavy criticism from unions and the South African Human Rights Commission for opening school, saying it was too soon.

Motshekga defended the decision saying they needed to reopen so that the academic year could be saved.

Maimane said this was irresponsible: “I will be dealing with our legal team to ensure that our legal action can ensure the safety of all learners. Like any other South African, I want our kids to go back to school but I want all of them to go back to safe schools rather than places that they could be vulnerable at,” he said.

He said he also wanted Motshekga gone as minister of basic education because of her handling of the crisis.

WATCH: Angie Motshekga's school readiness update in 3 minutes

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.