WESTERN CAPE FORUM FOR INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY V GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA: A CASE STUDY OF CONTRADICTIONS IN INCLUSIVE EDUCATION
Keywords:South Africa, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, inclusive education, Western Cape High Court
Using South Africa as the main case study, this article critically explores domestic commitment towards fulfilling the obligations imposed on the state by article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Article 24 guarantees a right to inclusive education. The article uses the decision of the Western Cape High Court in the case of Western Cape Forum for Intellectual Disability v Government of the Republic of South Africa & Another (2011) as the main pivot for discussion. It is argued that despite having an enabling constitutional environment, South Africa has been ambivalent about fulfilling its obligations under the Convention. On the one hand, South Africa has made significant strides in establishing an enabling legal and policy environment for the attainment of inclusive education. Mainly as part of post-apartheid transformation, it has made significant strides in developing equality jurisprudence that comports not just with the notion of inclusive education, but inclusive citizenship generally. On the other hand, the policy background to the Western Cape Forum for Intellectual Disability case demonstrates poignantly contradictions in the implementation of inclusive education by the state. The facts reveal a contradiction in state policy that outwardly embraces inclusive education but is inwardly exclusionary.