DA will fight SAPS’ language policy in the same way that we fought for language rights at Stellenbosch University 

17th March 2023

Following the DA’s significant victory earlier this week where the SAHRC confirmed our complaint that the University of Stellenbosch violated the human rights of Afrikaans-speaking students, we will now also fight the latest attack on language rights by SAPS in the Western Cape.

On Tuesday the DA lodged a complaint with the SAHRC over the Western Cape SAPS’ language directive whereby A1 victims’ statements would only be taken down in English and no other language. 

The SAHRC has now confirmed that they received our complaint and that they will be launching an investigation. 

The DA has always championed language rights of all South Africans. Last year, we successfully fought for the rights of Afrikaans-speaking South Africans after Nathi Mthethwa’s attempt to change the name of the Afrikaanse Taalmonument. 

We will fight this latest attack with the same vigour as we have fought previous battles. To force a victim of a crime to give a statement in a language that is not their mother tongue will only lead to cases being thrown out on technicalities or worse, victims not coming forward at all because they don’t feel that the police are helping them. 

In a diverse province such as the Western Cape, where English may not be the language of choice for the majority of residents, the DA will not stand idly by while victims of the forever-increasing crime statistics suffer even more harm and loss of dignity. We will make sure that they have every opportunity possible to ensure that justice is done and the criminals brought to book. 

If the ANC won’t protect the people’s rights to a language of their choice, the DA will.


Issued by Okkie Terblanche MP - DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Police