LANGUAGE POLICY MUST FALL.
There is no need to learn vernacular languages in Higher Institutes of learning they say. English will get you further because it is the language used in business and other formal platforms they remark. Look at university of Pretoria, Wits University, Rhodes University, University of cape town, North west university, University of Johannesburg, University of free state, University of KWA ZULU NATAL, University of Limpopo, Tshwane University of technology, Vaal University of technology, University of western cape, Stellenbosch University, University of SOUTH AFRICA, North west University (POTCHEFSROOM), University of Venda, University of Mpumalanga, and University of fort hare.
What businesses are these and what formal platforms do they speak of? They have shown great disdain for the University of Pretoria (UP) decision to make AFRIKAANS a compulsory semester course for all first year students. Why? Why should we learn something that you didn’t learn in high school? Racism in higher institutes will make BLACK students always fight for their right in University. Language policy, Statue, Apartheid, court Interdict, Suspended Students, will course more problems in University.
They say that this is a waste of time and it is wrong to force a language on BLACK people or BLACK student to learn AFRIKAANS. They forget that if it were not for colonisation from primary, high school, and University. English would be foreign to us as Africans. They forget that English was, and still is technically forced on us every single day.
They represent all the people in our country who have come to believe that English is not only a better language but a superior one too. FACT is that, white people represent those people who think learning AFRIKAANS is worthless and it would be more worthwhile to learn Mandarin or French. They are black, white, Indian and coloured and Asian. They are elitist South Africa.
I went to court this entire week. And the only case I heard that was conducted solely in English was in the South Gauteng High Court and was between business men. The rest, were in Johannesburg’s magistrate court and were conducted in two or more languages.
The languages used varied from Sesotho to Portuguese. It was interesting and also sad to watch. There were people who looked as though they did not understand what they had been charged for or why they had been sitting in a holding cell for up to 37 days.
One case that stood out to me was one where I understood both languages being used. The STUDENTS, who was accused of BURNING University building was arrested, and the magistrate court didn’t find him guilty, but the University we all know why they are doing this just to get students off the track of not to protest against university policy. BLACK PEOPLE are originally from SOUTH AFRICA and communicated best in AFRICAN LANGUAGE. We best to that, but being forced to learn AFRIKAANS, that’s weak and low, for Universities. Court is interesting
At some point during cross-examination the State Prosecutor they have something which the court interpreter completely botched. I was shocked. It was a completely different question to what the prosecutor asked and because [the prosecutor] did not understand AFRIKAANS, she just assumed the accused was being evasive and moved on. Let me tell you something that you don’t understand, Court are not the same, they can use one LANGUAGE, and other court they use two or more LANGUAGE.
After the trial I asked one of the attorneys if this was a common occurrence in the court. He said yes and proceeded to tell me that often attorneys ignore messages that are lost in translation when this works in their favour. He said often people were convicted for crimes simply because their testimonies were weak due to misinterpretations.
They say in formal platforms African languages are not used and it is not necessary to learn them. They say African languages are simply for leisure. They are wrong. If an attorney can lose a case because he was not aware that the interpreter misinterpreted his clients’ testimonies, then they are misguided.
We live in a country that is rich with culture and it is sad to know that most people only learn two if not one of our 11 official languages in their lifetime.
I am a 23-year-old MALE. My mother tongue is SETSWANA and I am proud to say I am multilingual. It is enriching to be able to communicate with most people I meet in their mother tongue. It allows you to interact with people from all walks of life and makes life interesting.
Also, fewer people can gossip about me.
I personally believe that every South African should know a minimum of three languages. It just makes sense.
The argument that English is the “professional” language of South Africa is baseless. No one is saying we must be taught in our vernacular languages relax. All we are saying learn them along with your English NOT AFRIKAANS. Not in this life time, I SAY AFRIKAANS MUST FALL, IN HIGHER INSTITUTES.
WRITTEN BY: EDWI MPHO MAKITLA…………………………..