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."

- SAPA
Read more on:    cape town  |  prisons
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