The use of the official indigenous languages in the south african judcial system reimagined, poignant and tacit issues explored

Keywords: Judicial system, Afrocentricity, Courts of law, South Africa, Dissertations, Science education


The objects of this research are, First, to highlight the unfair language practice that is still persisting in the South African Judicial System despite the provisions contained in the democratic constitution of equitable use of all official languages. Second, to explore the variables that contribute to this appalling state of affairs where English is predominately used in the South African Judicial System. Third, to suggest possible measures that could be applied to lessen or circumvent the situation.

The researcher investigated the following problem, The inadequate use of the official indigenous languages in the South African Judicial System, the reasons behind this practice and its consequences.

The main results of the research are, first, English is still the predominately used language in the South African courts of law and minimal use of official indigenous languages in the judicial system is still continuing unabated. Second, language policy regarding the South African Judicial System need to be reviewed with the aim of putting emphasis on the use of official indigenous languages for various activities in the judicial system, secondly, benefits derived from adequate use of official indigenous languages in the judicial system need to be explored more so that maximal participation of people who speak these languages can be achieved. Third, the study has shown that the reason for this inadequate use of the official indigenous languages is as a result of various intertwined variables such as globalisation, economic factors, negative attitudes towards African languages and a lack of existing inclusive language policies regarding the SA judicial system. Fourth, the use English language for various purposes in the judicial system is a linguistic injustice, it portrays the South African judicial system as still not transformed but still colonised.

The area of practical use of the research results are, all citizens who seek justice through South African judicial System, Law practitioners in South Africa, human rights organisations, university students and staff members of the criminal justice department.

Innovative technological product, Inclusive language policy development measures

Scope of the innovative technological product, The practice of multilingualism in the area of law.


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Author Biographies

Tebogo Johannes Kekana, University of Limpopo

Department of Languages

School of Languages and Communication Studies

Malesela Edward Montle, University of Limpopo

Department of Languages

School of Languages and Communication Studies


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How to Cite
Kekana, T. J., & Montle, M. E. (2022). The use of the official indigenous languages in the south african judcial system reimagined, poignant and tacit issues explored. ScienceRise, (3), 73-82.
Legal aspects in the system of industrial and social relations