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Council signals end of Afrikaans as legal language

Publish date: 11 March 2019
Issue Number: 814
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: South Africa

Afrikaans as a legal language is for all practical purposes extinct after the Legal Practice Council (LPC) issued a notice last week that the decades-long practice of Afrikaans-language tests for prospective attorneys and advocates are to be scrapped, says Rapport. The LPC said in its notice that it had received ‘many complaints’ that the dual language practice of English and Afrikaans exams is discriminatory against other official languages. The March and April exams will be the last to be offered in Afrikaans. Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng directed in 2017 that the official language of the courts should be English. The two remaining universities offering the LLB degree in Afrikaans – Stellenbosch University and North West University (NWU) – are in the process of scaling down on Afrikaans. NWU spokesperson Louis Jacobs says all final year LLB subjects will be taught in English on its Potchefstroom campus by 2021. Stellenbosch says all classes are in English with Afrikaans concepts highlighted by lecturers. Unisa and the Universities of Pretoria and the Free State have already stopped their Afrikaans LLB offering.

Full report in Rapport (subscription needed)