SANDF ‘discriminates’ against HIV-positive members

2014-07-28 08:44

The North Gauteng High Court is set to hear arguments about alleged discrimination against HIV-positive members within the SA National Defence Force (SANDF).

The Star today reports that applicants claim the SANDF continues to unlawfully exclude new recruits solely on the basis of their HIV status despite a court order six years ago.

The applicants allege that the defence force “does so regardless of the applicant’s actual state of health, the job to be performed, and regardless of the order of the court”.

The SANDF’s former health classification policy excluded people living with HIV from recruitment, external deployment and promotion, according to the newspaper.

In 2008, the same court declared that the force’s HIV-testing policy unreasonably and “unjustifiably” infringed on the rights of members.

The Aids Law Project (now part of Section27) had challenged the exclusion, which apparently applies regardless of a member’s fitness levels and ability to do the job.

This led to the adoption of a new policy in 2009, which was meant to discontinue the discriminatory policy.

The matter will be heard in court tomorrow.

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