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‘The department has decided that it will abide by the decision of the Court’ – DBE.

Article by: Dumisane Dube

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) says it will accept any decision taken by the High Court on publishing the 2021 matric results in the media.

Last week, the department wrote a letter to media houses informing them that the move was in line with the Protection of Personal Information Act (Popia), which came into effect in July last year.

In the letter, the department said that pupils would have to obtain their statement of results from their schools to protect their personal information.

Three organisations including AfriForum have since approached the court in an urgent bid to have the results published in the media.

Basic education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga says the department is guided by the need to comply with all the legal obligations but in the final analysis the Constitution commands the DBE to act in the best interest of the learner.

“In a quest to strike this delicate balance of complying with POPIA and act in the best interest of the learner, the Department has been engaged with a number of role players including the Information Regulator and the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF),” says Mhlanga.

Mhlanga further said the department has decided that it will abide by the decision of the Court.

“The Department has communicated its position to stakeholders it has engaged including SANEF and other parties,” adds Mhlanga.

The urgent court application is expected to be heard on Tuesday, ahead of the announcement of the matric results on Thursday.

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