DA: SAHRC must force Nzimande to recognise Afrikaans as an indigenous language

The DA said Minister Blade Nzimande's insistence on defining Afrikaans as 'a foreign language' in South Africa was hateful and unconstitutional.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande at a media briefing on 18 January 2021. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) said it wanted the South African Human Rights Commission to deal decisively with Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande to ensure that Afrikaans took its rightful place as an official, indigenous South African language.

The party on Monday filed a complaint with the commission against Nzimande.

It said his insistence on defining Afrikaans as "a foreign language" in South Africa was hateful and unconstitutional.

READ: Nzimande's insistence on defining Afrikaans as foreign language is hateful - DA

DA MP Leon Schreiber said classification by Nzimande was contained in the language policy framework for public higher education institutions dated October 2020.

This follows a recent Constitutional Court ruling that Unisa change its language policy to include teaching and learning in Afrikaans by the start of the 2023 academic year.

Schreiber said the minister was undermining the right to mother tongue education while violating Afrikaans speakers' rights to dignity and equality.

“It is now time for the Human Rights Commission to step in. We implore the commission to take up this matter with Minister Nzimande and force him to include Afrikaans in the policy frameworks definition of indigenous languages, so that it can take its rightful place as an official indigenous and equal South African language,” he said.

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