Democratic Alliance leader, John Steenhuisen handed over a petition during their protest to demand that Afrikaans be declared an indigenous language.
This movement took place outside the office of Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande in Pretoria, and was sparked by the discovery that Afrikaans is excluded from the definition of indigenous languages in the new Language Policy Framework for Public Higher Education Institutions.
This morning we held a public protest outside the office of Higher Education Minister to demand that Blade Nzimande and government immediately recognise Afrikaans as a fully-fledged indigenous South African language and not classify it as ‘foreign’.
Let’s protect Afrikaans! ?? pic.twitter.com/wjSX48D5zD
— John Steenhuisen MP (@jsteenhuisen) October 12, 2021
According to IOL, the policy only defined languages that “belong to the southern Bantu language family” as indigenous, while the party recently filed a complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) against Nzimande over his “hateful and unconstitutional insistence on defining Afrikaans as a foreign language” in South Africa.
Spokesperson for Public Service and Administration Leon Schreiber, who led the protest along with Steenhuisen said that they would “stand up against this exclusion of Afrikaans from the definition of indigenous languages” while “demanding that Nzimande correctly recognises Afrikaans as an indigenous language”, as per EWN.
This comes after the Constitutional Court reached the decision to reinstate Afrikaans as a learning and teaching medium at Unisa, and ruled that the university has until 2023 to change its revised language policy.
DA Leader @jsteenhuisen hands over a petition to demand that Afrikaans is declared an indigenous language.
This follows the classification of Afrikaans as a “foreign” language in the Language Policy Framework for Higher Education Institutions.
— Democratic Alliance (@Our_DA) October 12, 2021
This is what the petition states:
“The Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, continues to defend his Department’s language policy framework for higher education, which classifies Afrikaans hatefully and unconstitutionally as an “foreign” language.
The DA will not relent in our struggle for the recognition of Afrikaans as an indigenous language.
The DA, together with every person who signs this petition, hereby demands the following from the Minister of Higher Education and Training:
- The Department of Higher Education and Training must immediately amend the Language Policy Framework for Higher Education to recognize Afrikaans as an indigenous South African language. The Policy Framework currently only recognises languages belonging to the “Southern Bantu language family” as indigenous. This definition is unscientific, contrary to the Constitutional Court’s ruling in the Unisa case, and hurtful and hateful towards the diverse Afrikaans-speaking language community.
- After the Policy Framework has been amended to recognise Afrikaans’ legitimate status as an indigenous South African language, Minister Nzimande must publicly and unconditionally apologize to the Afrikaans-speaking community for the way in which he undermined their Constitutional rights to dignity, mother tongue education and equality.
- After Afrikaans’ status as an indigenous language has been recognised, Minister Nzimande must request all public universities – including the University of Stellenbosch – to adapt their language policies in accordance with Afrikaans’ status as a full-fledged indigenous language so that mother tongue instruction in Afrikaans is expanded rather than restricted.”
Picture: Twitter / @jsteenhuisen