Popcru welcomes dreadlock ruling

2011-09-28 16:22

Johannesburg - Popcru has welcomed a judgment by the Labour Appeal Court in Cape Town that five dreadlocked prison warders were unfairly dismissed.

The ruling would help build sound labour relations in the correctional services department, the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) said in a statement on Wednesday.

Spokesperson Norman Mampane said an appeal by correctional services against an earlier ruling on warders sporting dreadlocks was dismissed with costs.

Five warders at Pollsmoor Prison for periods varying between seven and 14 years, were dismissed in June 2007 because they wore dreadlocks and refused to cut their hair.

Mampane said none of the men had any prior disciplinary infractions, and all of them had worn their hair in the same style at work for years before they were ordered to get haircuts.

On January 26 2007, the men were suspended on the grounds that they did not comply with the department's dress code.

Mampane said Popcru had argued that the dismissal amounted to an unfair labour practice, and that many women officials wore dreadlocks and had not been suspended.

Rastafarian warder James Lebatlang told The Times newspaper he was delighted with the ruling which upheld an earlier Labour Court finding.

"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 supersede the country's Constitution with their own policies."

  • Oboa - 2011-09-28 16:33

    What's next? Soldiers with dreadlocks?

      Peter James Erasmus - 2011-09-28 16:49

      It's not how you look, but how you do your job!

      ChumScrubber - 2011-09-28 16:51

      And what if it was wit ou's with long hippy hairstyles. Surely there needs to be some standard set regarding appearance of paramilitary bodies - in my day this was part of discipline. Nothing against dreadlocks or long hair, but if you want to be part of a paramilitary body surely you need to comply with appearance standards. Are they allowed to smoke dope as well?? Then again, Popcru is not big on discipline - hence the poor standard of our police force.

  • Serias - 2011-09-28 17:05

    The rot is setting in. Discipline and neatness has gone out the door.

  • kilo39 - 2011-09-28 17:10

    We are slowly but surely chipping away at traditions and rules that are actually there for a purpose, to instil discipline and uniformity. This is being done in the name of human rights and the constitution is being used as an excuse. This is the exact reason that there is no job creation and mechanisation wherever possible is preferred. These tossers think they have won a victory and will celebrate, but what they've actually done is potentially destroyed any chance that many hundreds even thousands may have had in securing employment in the future. I for one and I know that I am not alone, WILL NOT open a business and create jobs purely because it will at the end of the day cause me more problems than it's worth. I know of guys who are in a well off position that they need not work, who have closed down their viable businesses just to avoid the grief that comes with employing people. Who loses ?

  • Mzungu - 2011-09-28 17:17

    Dreadlocks FTW!

  • Pernosco - 2011-09-28 19:41

    Guess how the State President's Guard is going to look next year!

  • piet.hannibol - 2013-01-29 15:05

    A person can argue that the disciples and annpying rules set by our european ancestors were done so because they did not really have a lot to do those days. Or we can conclude that they were/are there to cater for human behaviour perfect to run a civilization. Fact: we are regressing and by looks of things we will be cavemen again in the next 100 years or so. But hey what can one expect from a goverment of an industrialized nation/civilization being run by groups of people who ave not gone througha dark ages and who has not even begun to consider frameworks for philosophy or morals... Oh yes we are expecting waaayyyy too much.

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