A significant number of public schools which have been disadvantaged by the country’s colonial and apartheid past continue to operate under conditions of extreme deprivation.

Therefore, attaching assets to satisfy litigation debts would have devastating effects, even on better-resourced schools.

A Cape Times report says these remarks came from the Constitutional Court yesterday, as it declined to confirm a KZN High Court order declaring section 58A(4) of the South African Schools Act constitutionally invalid.

The section provides that the assets of a public school may not be attached as a result of any legal action taken against the school.

The proscription in section 58A(4) of the Schools Act of the attachment of the assets of public schools is meant to protect this very important right, the right to basic education. It averts the obvious harm that would surely eventuate if school assets could be attached,’ read a unanimous judgment penned by Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga.

Full Cape Times report (subscription needed)

Moodley v Kenmont School and Others

See also a detailed Daily Maverick report

Durban father Deverajh Moodley had won his case for legal costs against a Bluff school in the High Court.

The Mercury reports Moodley was involved in litigation against the Kenmont School on the Bluff dating back to 2009. This related to an attempt by the school to exclude his son, who is now an adult.

Moodley won his cases against the school, which resulted in cost orders being granted against it.

However, when Moodley sought payment of the costs – about R600 000 – he came up against opposition.

The school, its governing body, the KZN Education MEC and the Minister of Education all claimed they were not liable for the costs.

In a High Court judgment, the court declared that section 58(4) was inconsistent with the Constitution.

Moodley sought to have the constitutional invalidity confirmed by the Constitutional Court.

Full report in The Mercury (subscription needed)