Home News Pestalozzi Trust: Review Application Served

Pestalozzi Trust: Review Application Served


The Pestalozzi Trust wishes to announce that yesterday, the 14th of May, 2019, the Trust served papers on the Minister of Basic Education and the Director-General in the Department of Basic Education in order to initiate the legal process to set aside the Policy on Home Education (2018).
Our papers were served within the 180 day period allowed for the review of an administrative action under the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act (PAJA). This period expires today, the 15th of May, as the Policy on Home Education was gazetted on the 16th of November, 2018.

This is the culmination of a project the Trust began the moment the Policy was published for public comment in November 2017. We wish to thank each and every one who wrote to the Department of Basic Education (DBE) requesting an extension to the comment period, made a submission, urgently wrote or called to ask the minister to delay a decision on the Policy and loyally supported the Trust each step of the way. Each of your actions has been noted in our founding affidavit and in that way each of you is part of this case. You have our heartfelt thanks for your efforts. We also wish to thank the Associations that have supported the Trust in this work, as well as those who have worked so hard representing home education in the media.

In addition to these efforts the Trust has been conducting an on-going process of engagement with the Department of Basic Education since 2017. As part of this process we sought to state the case of home educators and as far as possible avoid conflict. Unfortunately, the Department has not seen fit to engage constructively and therefore the Trust has launched this action. The record of this communication also forms part of our case. 

The legal aspects of the decision to challenge the Policy are complex, as is the process of initiating such an action. In order to guide us through this process we have been using the services of some of the country’s top administrative and constitutional law experts.

We are in a position to take this legal action thanks to the loyal and dedicated support of our members over the years. The Trust turns 21 this year and is humbled by the support we have received and the trust you have placed in us over those years. We also want to thank all the new members who have joined the Trust in such significant numbers in the last year. The fight for home education will continue for many years and you are building on the foundation laid 21 years ago. 

This application to set the Policy aside is however only a pre-cursor to a potentially long and costly fight over the proposed BELA Bill. This fight will take place in the media, parliament, provincial legislatures and the courts. The BELA Bill remains our most pressing strategic threat. The BELA Bill, if passed in its proposed form, will require a challenge in the highest courts and it is a threat that cannot be ignored or minimised. For that reason we continue our legal preparation, campaigns and work with politicians of various parties on provincial and national level. 

Defeating the BELA Bill will require all of our united effort and we are sure that we will continue to enjoy your support in the fight for liberty in learning in South Africa.

PS: Should you have any questions we encourage you to contact the Trust at defensor@pestalozzi.org. If your question is legally complex we cannot promise an immediate answer. This matter is now subject to a formal legal process and we will need to check any communication that may impact the case with our legal counsel.


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