White prison official to be promoted
Johannesburg – Trade union Solidarity and the department of correctional services on Thursday reached a settlement in the Labour Court in Johannesburg in the affirmative action case of Herman Denysschen.
Judge Annelie Basson ruled that an agreement between the parties be made an order of the court.
In terms of the order, Denysschen would be promoted to assistant director of PAS System Management backdated to June 2008, and correctional services would pay the costs of the matter.
Denysschen had applied for a promotion in the logistics department of correctional services.
Recommended for the position
His application was turned down on the grounds of affirmative action even though an interview panel, where 75% of those conducting the interview were black, recommended him for the position, read court papers.
No other candidate was appointed to the position and Denysschen had been acting in it since then.
According to the court order, correctional services acknowledged they had not promoted Denysschen on the grounds of affirmative action.
"The respondents point out that their refusal to have (Denysschen) appointed was based on equity requirements of the department," read the court order.
Scarcity of skills
The advertisement had stated that anyone could apply for the post and the human resources department said appointments in positions in logistics had to be allowed from non-designated groups due to a scarcity of skills and the number of vacant posts.
The case was the second in a series of 10 affirmative action challenges, which Solidarity began with the case of Captain Renate Barnard of the SA Police Force. The police were currently appealing the Labour Court's finding that she be promoted.
"We have got everything we asked for, we are very happy," said Solidarity spokesperson Dirk Hermann outside court.
"We have already won number one, the case of Renate Barnard. Now we have won number two.
Not good for justice
"We'll win the cases one by one, but believe it is not good for justice or for the people involved," he said.
It would be better if government stopped opposing the cases and rather took a leadership role in implementing affirmative action fairly across the spectrum, he said.
"We hope the message to government is (that there are) certain frameworks affirmative action must function within."
Speaking Afrikaans and dressed in a purple and black striped shirt, Denysschen said outside court he was very happy and relieved by the outcome.