The Pan South African Language Board (PanSalb) will pursue a meeting with Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng to object to ‘the continuous assault and discrimination’ against indigenous languages. This after former President Jacob Zuma's lawyer was not allowed to deliver his 10-minute opening address in isiZulu this week.

A TimesLIVE report notes that the board said the KZN High Court (Pietermaritzburg) demonstrated the continued ostracism of historically marginalised official languages by the court when it refused Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane the right to address it in isiZulu.

Sikhakhane had planned to deliver his opening address in Zuma's application for a permanent stay of prosecution in isiZulu, but was told in judge's chambers on Monday morning that he would have to speak English.

Sikhakhane said he was unaware of PanSalb's decision to take up his matter. However, he was ‘happy that it had decided to challenge the policy’.

The board's CEO, Dr Rakwena Monareng, said he had been trying for years to speak to the justice system about its exclusion of the nine marginalised SA official languages: Sesotho sa Leboa, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, isiNdebele, isiXhosa and isiZulu.

The board said there was a constitutional obligation on the state to take practical and positive measures to elevate the status of and advance the use of the nine languages.

Full TimesLIVE report