‘Correctional Services’ transformation policy is racist’

2013-04-26 00:00

CAPE TOWN —“What must we tell our children? Be your own boss or become a gangster?”

So said Correctional Services deputy commissioner in the Western Cape, Fred Engelbrecht, yesterday about the department’s transformation targets.

According to papers in the Labour Court, the national targets for 2010 to 2014 are 79,3% Africans, 9,3% whites, 8,8% coloureds and 3,5% Indians.

Engelbrecht, who is coloured, believes the targets are discriminatory.

He was testifying in a case brought by the trade union Solidarity and 10 people employed by the Department of Correctional Services.

The 10 were passed over for promotion, apparently because of their race. Nine are coloured and one is white.

Solidarity is asking the court to declare the transformation plan illegal and to order that the 10 be promoted.

According to statistics read out by advocate Marumo Moerane SC, for Correctional Services, in February this year, only 41,2% of the posts in Western Cape prisons were filled by Africans.

He told Engelbrecht: “At the end of the case, I will argue that you are biased. You have a negative attitude.”

Engelbrecht replied: “When it comes to equity, I am biased, because the department’s transformation is racist.”

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