Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, has dismissed Democratic Alliance’s (DA) allegations that he hates Afrikaans.

His response comes after the DA filed a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) against Nzimande.

The party says his insistence on defining Afrikaans as a foreign language in South Africa is unconstitutional and hateful.

Last week, the Constitutional Court ruled that Unisa should reinstate Afrikaans as a medium of instruction alongside English.

 

Nzimande says in a statement that the DA is recycling what he terms its old and tired strategy of seeking to privilege Afrikaans as an instrument to exclude the majority of South Africans from accessing education, especially in former white institutions.

In the statement, Minister Nzimande says he recognises Afrikaans as one of South Africa’s official languages but cannot allow it to be used as a means of exclusion and oppression.

He says Afrikaans must be rescued from a white right-wing agenda.

Nzimande accuses the DA of being preoccupied with Afrikaans to the detriment of the development of the other official languages.

The Minister says they will study both the court judgement and complaint but are determined to defend higher education’s language policy.