News24

Policewoman's case drags on

2010-05-06 20:03

Johannesburg - Police Captain Renate Barnard will have to wait longer for her court ordered promotion following a decision by the Labour Appeal Court on Thursday to grant her employers leave to appeal the February 26 ruling.

While trade union Solidarity expressed disappointment at this ruling, it said that further court processes would "provide greater clarity on affirmative action.

"We regret that the process will be drawn out further, as Captain Barnard has been waging a struggle against the unfair application of affirmative action in the SAPS for the past five years," said Dirk Hermann, Solidarity's deputy general secretary.

Barnard had applied for a promotion but, although she fared the best out of all candidates during assessments, the promotion was refused because she was white.

This was considered to not be in line with the police's attempts at realigning racial representation in the department - better known as affirmative action.

On February 26, Judge Paul Pretorius ordered the police service to promote Barnard to superintendent from July 2006 and pay her legal costs.

In a statement on Thursday, Solidarity welcomed the court's decision to grant the Police service leave to appeal, saying a higher court would "provide clarity on the application of affirmative action.

"Solidarity welcomes this opportunity, because the ruling of a higher court will bring greater legal certainty in the case. A constitutional ruling should ideally be given in this regard," said Hermann.

While the process would be drawn out, the outcome of the case would benefit "all South Africans who suffer as a result of the unfair application of affirmative action.

"The legal precedent that could be set at the Labour Appeal Court will eventually ensure that companies and government institutions that use representivity as the main criterion in applying affirmative action are called to account," he said.