Afrikaans is a dying language.
In the Constitutional Court of South Africa, on December 29 2017, it could be said that Afrikaans was on trial. Afriforum was opposing the University of the Free State’s decision to use English as its medium language.
In the television broadcast of the judgement on Afriforum’s final leave to appeal, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng often used the words “racism” and “apartheid”, emphasising how difficult the topic is. That difficulty is emphasised by previously contrary rulings in lower courts. Mogoeng said that the dual medium policy unintentionally led to “cultural segregation” and “racial tension” and that “white supremacy [was] not being reddressed but being kept alive and well.”
Afriforum’s leave to appeal was refused. No costs were ordered.
Afrikaans may be the biggest first-language in the province of the Western Cape, and the third biggest countrywide, but English is the most used second-language by a diversity of South Africans. However, the practical use of English will not stop many Afrikaners from feeling that their minority rights are being persecuted. Unfortunately, there’s no clear right and wrong in this debate but it’s assured that Afrikaners will be the losers. That’s unfortunate because, as a demographic, they make large contribution to the South African economy.