Police studying AA ruling

2010-02-26 22:18

Johannesburg - The SA Police Service has not decided on the way forward after the Labour Court on Friday ordered it to promote Captain Renate Barnard to superintendent in a landmark affirmative action case.

"We are looking into the matter, we will be studying the judgment along with our legal team," said National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele's spokesperson, Nonkululeko Mbatha.

"After carefully studying the document, I'm sure that will be the route we will be pursuing, but for now we cannot say for certain," she said in reply to whether the Saps was considering appealing the decision.

This was after Judge Paul Pretorius ordered the police service to promote Barnard to superintendent from July 2006 and pay her legal costs.


Trade union Solidarity acted on Barnard's behalf.

The judgment said the failure to promote Barnard was a decision based on her race and constituted discrimination. The court found that "it is not apparent that consideration was given to the Applicant's [Barnard's] right to equality and dignity".

The police services' failure to promote Barnard was unfair and therefore "not in compliance with the Employment Equity Act".

Solidarity deputy general secretary hailed the ruling, saying it would have a "far reaching effect".

The Social Movement Against Racist Tendencies said it's taken note of the "upper hand enjoyed by anti-transformation forces who use the courts to advance their hatred of transformation laws".

Criminalisation of representivity

"We will register our displeasure if the court grant Solidarity union the right to reverse the need to ensure representivity within the police force," said the organisation's leader, Panyaza Lesufi in a statement.

"We call on fellow South Africans to reject the criminalisation of representivity in our workplaces."

Freedom Front Plus spokesperson on labour, Anton Alberts, said the party was "elated" by the ruling.

"This is the clearest sign that affirmative action's days are counted and that this policy should finally be brought to an end," he said.