News24

Dreadlocked warders win dismissal suit

2011-09-28 11:53

Cape Town - Five dreadlocked prison warders have won an unfair dismissal suit against the department of correctional services, according to a newspaper report on Wednesday.

The men, three of whom followed the Rastafarian faith, argued in the Labour Appeal Court in Cape Town that the instruction to cut their dreadlocks off infringed on their rights to freedom.

All five worked as warders at Pollsmoor prison for between seven and 14 years before they were fired in 2007, The Times newspaper reported.

The department had claimed that the men violated the dress code which stipulated that the hair of male officials "may not be dyed in colours or out (sic) in any punk style, including [a] 'Rasta man' hairstyle".

Rastafarian James Lebatlang told the newspaper he was delighted with the ruling which upheld an earlier Labour Court one.

"I'm very happy. It's been a tough four years that I had to go through. This was unnecessary but I'm happy that it has been finalised.

"People must not supercede the country's Constitution with their own policies."

Comments
  • asiseeit - 2011-09-28 12:03

    So that means that these Rasta wardens can smoke zol as well as this is also part of their religion?

      JMan - 2011-09-28 12:09

      Not the same thing and you know it. Dagga is illegal. Dreadlocks aren't.

      AGED - 2011-09-28 12:17

      That's just STUPID comment-think before you type

      Nkalakatha - 2011-09-28 12:18

      Not all smoke dagga that is just another PERCEPTION people have !!

      Sue Laurynhill - 2011-09-28 12:29

      @ asiseeit, who said anything about them smoking zol, it doesnt mean every Rasta smokes zol. I have dreadlocks and to me its just a hairstyle, get yr facts right.

      Krush - 2011-09-28 12:47

      For Rastas, smoking cannabis, usually known as herb, weed, sinsemilla (Spanish for without seeds), or ganja (from the Sanskrit word Ganjika, used in ancient India), is a spiritual act, often accompanied by Bible study; they consider it a sacrament that cleans the body and mind, heals the soul, exalts the consciousness, facilitates peacefulness, brings pleasure, and brings them closer to Jah. They often burn the herb when in need of insight from Jah. Cannabis remains illegal in Jamaica and most of the world and this has caused friction between Rastas and the police.[25] The burning of the herb is often said to be essential, "For it will sting in the hearts of those that promote and perform evil and wrongs." By the 8th century, cannabis had been introduced by Arab traders to Central and Southern Africa, where it is known as "dagga"[26] and many Rastas say it is a part of their African culture that they are reclaiming.[27] It is sometimes also referred to as "the healing of the nation", a phraseology adapted from Revelation 22:2.[28]

      Dolphin - 2011-09-28 13:00

      @ Sue Laurynhill, Having a Quran in my bookshelf doesn't make me a Muslim. Having dreadlocks doesnt mean you are a Rastafarian. However, I agree with what you said about not every Rastafarian smoking pot.

      Sue Laurynhill - 2011-09-28 13:17

      @Dolphin, well put

      V-GIN - 2011-09-28 13:17

      YES, 99.9% of Rastas smoke dagga that is true. if it looks like a chicken and taste like a chicken therefore is a chicken

      Krush - 2011-09-28 13:34

      Why did i get two thumbs down? haha. I merely quoted from wikipedia!

      SimplyTumi - 2011-09-28 13:38

      @asiseeit: you don't see it so clearly, do you!

  • Zinde - 2011-09-28 12:13

    I think this word [ RIGHTS ] we understand it wrong, let them continue with their rights and suffer from poverty Unemployed. go on unemployed Rastafarians i dont how i u going to buy Dagga.

      31.com - 2011-09-28 12:34

      Zinde you are stupid period! read! read read!

      Sue Laurynhill - 2011-09-28 12:38

      Idiot

      Ingie - 2011-09-28 12:46

      THINK BEFORE YOU COMMENT

  • @Dada - 2011-09-28 12:17

    @asiseeit. Really, you are out of order. Please grow up.

  • Valkerie - 2011-09-28 12:19

    Congratulations to the 6 - sanity prevailed. Just a pity that the case took 4 years to get done. Our courts are woefully overburdened and understaffed.

      Greegs - 2011-09-28 12:40

      It's actually 5...!!!

      3nl1ght3n3d - 2011-09-28 12:45

      No, instead of postponing cases should be dealt with swiftly, then no burden-, or understaffing issues.

      Valkerie - 2011-09-28 15:16

      Correction: 5 - touch typing failure. Thanks Greegs.

  • Peter James Erasmus - 2011-09-28 12:19

    Head palm!!! I was waiting for someone to bring up dagga because they are Rastafarian.

      Peter James Erasmus - 2011-09-28 16:32

      Felix you mull i'll role. LOL

  • @Dada - 2011-09-28 12:20

    @Zinde. U need to get out being a nonentity. Get books, read and empower yourself.

      Zinde - 2011-09-28 12:31

      Anything with the name [ dagga] it hurts Dada whats wrong with you. are u smoking.

      shagrance - 2011-09-28 15:23

      dada dont mind zinde s/he is probably high, zinde ur a mugu

  • Currie_Mafia - 2011-09-28 12:22

    Ya, datz iry Mon.....

  • jan.coetzee2 - 2011-09-28 12:26

    Our company says we may not discriminate and must accept all, but I have to hide my piercings and tattoos because the older managers will label me negatively....so I am glad for these guys who won.

  • Ingie - 2011-09-28 12:35

    ITS CULTURE....AS RAMMED DOWN OUR THROATS DAILY EVERYTHING IS ABOUT CULTURE. SO IF AN AFRICAN WANTS TO SLAUGHTER A COW ON HIS PROPERTY ITS HIS CULTURE...SO IF THIS GUY HAS THIS HAIR ITS HIS CULUTRE SAME THINGS. WHY CAN ONE RACE HAVE ALL THE CULTURE AND OTHERS NOT. SAME AS ITS THE MUSLIMS CULURE TO COVER THEIR HEADS. WHAT YOU GIVE TO ONE RACE NEEDS TO BE GIVEN TO ALL

      sganja - 2011-09-28 12:41

      Caps lock please

      Ingie - 2011-09-28 12:45

      F...O...SJANGA

      SeriouslyNow - 2011-09-28 13:10

      ...Easy tiger (th)Ingie!

      Felix - 2011-09-28 13:32

      What do you want to do Ingie? As long as it isn't detrimental to others I'm sure you can go ahead...

      Ingie - 2011-09-28 14:02

      WHY DOES THE TRUTH HURT..CULTURE CULTURE CULTURE

  • Greegs - 2011-09-28 12:39

    I wonder if they had dreadlocks when they initially applied for the job?

      JamZ - 2011-09-28 12:58

      Good question.... They probably didn't have any dreads and grew them afterwards. What happened to discipline (include attire) like the military. How will skollies and prisoners respect and fear the wardens. AND yes they are supposed to fear them.

      Felix - 2011-09-28 13:33

      The interviewer couldn't see due to the huge red, yellow and green beenies they were wearing. lol.

  • Patrick - 2011-09-28 12:39

    Next thing our military will be wearing dreadlocks - there is a dress code when you are in uniform!

  • mac-sdi - 2011-09-28 13:00

    Maybe the department of correctional services should stop smoking Zol. That goes for the Labour Courts too. how can such a simple case take 4 years? Simple solution: Does the constituion allow me to wear my hair in any form = Yes. Does the Correctional Service policy infringe the rights as stated in the constitution = Yes. Judge: I find in favour of the 4 gentlemen. Case Closed.

  • letsdance - 2011-09-28 13:17

    So what if they have dreadlocks.....Dreadlocks are very cool if looked after.........so long as they do their jobs....for goodness sake get over it already

  • letsdance - 2011-09-28 13:20

    and so what if people smoke weed....have you ever heard of somebody beating up their spouses afetr smoking weed NO, but alcohol on the other hand YES...

      KanaMay - 2011-10-02 02:38

      We've heard of quite a number of silly incidents the stoned guys have got up to, even sillier than some drunk people. Also, many of those druggies commit all kinds of transgressions for that one more smoke, which is more serious than what alcoholics or smokers do.

  • AGED - 2011-09-28 13:37

    The stereo typical comments and idea of people who has NO IDEA where OR even why people have dreaded hair .Dreadlocks should NOT only be associated to Rastafarians ,BUT also Indians /Hindus sages and yogis. People please know what you commenting on

  • shellerjc - 2011-09-28 16:19

    you take up a profeesion, any professionfor that matter, you are told from DAY ONE of its rules & regulations, and or protocols and or uniform do's and dont's, and still you ignore them because its your right?? Oh hell okay then, lets all run naked throught the streets - Its my right to be naked. I have a tatoo which I ensure is covered at all times - its my companies RULES & REGULATIONS. BUt todays society is far too much for ME, MYSELF and I

      Valkerie - 2011-09-28 17:59

      @ shellerjc: These folks weren't prosecuted from "DAY ONE", but after 7 to 14 years' of employment only. That changes things a little, don't you think? They were not in breach of conduct if they were allowed to continue growing their hair without any record of disciplinary action against them. If against policy, the employer created a presedent by allowing it to continue for years without corrective action. So they'll tie their hair back and keep it neat - same as ladies' with long hair do. Much the same as you're doing with covering your tattoo. A better comparison to their situation would be if your employer took disciplinary action against you, demanding that you have your tat removed because of the perceived image it creates for the company. Would you do it, and why/not?

  • liachim - 2011-09-28 17:20

    It's a sad day when a service like the Police and the Justice or correctional services can't have a code of dress that promotes discipline. It has been voiced that when everyone's every right is upheld, then no one will have any recourse to any justice.

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