The ruling follows an appeal lodged by AfriForum against the judgment and order made by the Supreme Court of Appeal on the implementation of the institution’s language policy in March 2017.
Delivering the judgment, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said that the university council’s approval of the language policy was lawful and constitutionally valid.
The UFS vice-chancellor Prof Francis Petersen says the landmark judgment is not only paving the way for the university to continue with the policy implementation but also indicates that the policy change was necessary.
“We have been working on this language policy for a couple of years and it is part of a whole focus on transformation within the University of the Free State. Now that the judgment has been made, we will go full out and implement the language policy, which we think is the right thing to do.”
Mogoeng delivered judgment on a case brought to the Constitutional Court by AfriForum after the university last year adopted a new language policy.
In March this year, the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the university's new language policy.
The Chief Justice says that every student has a constitutional right to study in any official language of their choice but that the major challenge is that learning material in other languages are not accessible.