White rights downgraded, Solidarity says

2012-11-02 17:21
(Picture: <a href=\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\http://www.shutterstock.com\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\>Shutterstock</a>)

(Picture: Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - A ruling related to affirmative action by the Labour Appeal Court has diluted white South Africans' right to equality, trade union Solidarity said on Friday.

Deputy general secretary Dirk Hermann said this could not be acceptable in a constitutional democracy.

"We don't believe the Constitution sanctions this kind of racism."

Labour Appeal Court Judge Basheer Waglay upheld an appeal by the SA Police Service (SAPS) against a 2010 Labour Court ruling, which ordered the promotion of police Captain Renate Barnard to the level of lieutenant colonel.

Solidarity brought the matter to court on behalf of Barnard, who was refused a promotion because of affirmative action.

Hermann said Barnard applied for the same position twice and was each time recommended as the most suitable candidate by the interview panel, but was not appointed.

When this happened a third time, the post was withdrawn, as being "not critical".

The matter was taken to the Labour Court, which found she should have been promoted.

However, the post had already been withdrawn.

The Labour Court ruled that the implementation of affirmative action had to be rational.

It also found that the rights to equality and dignity of non-designated groups needed to be protected.

Barnard has been a policewoman for 24 years and said she remained passionate about her work and the police service in general.

Her father, grandfather, brother and brother-in-law were all employed by the SAPS.

Barnard said she had not been ostracised for pursuing her case.

"I have received a lot of support from all my colleagues, of all races and genders," Barnard said.

Her fight for promotion was "not a racial issue", she said.

Because of the nature of the case, Barnard said she sometimes felt as though she were being branded as racist.

"In court, I felt like I was the accused. I am definitely not a racist."

She said she had not thought it would be necessary go to such lengths to be promoted.

Solidarity's Labour Court department head Dirk Groenewald said the Labour Appeal Court's decision had implications for service delivery.

"With [South Africa's] statistics on crime, we have to put service delivery first, in the interests of all South Africans."

The SAPS' interpretation of the legislation meant it measured progress in affirmative action against national demographics, rather than its skills base.

As such, until quotas were met, individuals of non-designated groups had no prospect of promotion.

In addition, Herman said: "The Employment Equity Act makes it clear that you cannot have a quota system."

Hermann said this impinged on people's rights to equality and dignity.

Usually, the next step would be an application to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

However, as the matter was deeply intertwined with constitutional matters, Solidarity hoped to proceed directly to the Constitutional Court.

The Labour Appeal Court found on Friday that service delivery was not negatively affected by the decision not to promote Barnard.

This was because it was the national police commissioner's prerogative to leave a post vacant. It was not the court's place to second-guess this decision.

The judgment also disregarded claims that the SAPS employment equity plan was focused on employing blacks, regardless of other criteria.

In his judgment Waglay said: "That, to me, suggests that should a black candidate be unsuitable, that candidate will not be appointed".

No order was made for costs because Waglay found that the matter raised important constitutional questions.

- SAPA

Read more on:    solidarity  |  police  |  labour

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
94 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Monday Gordons Bay - 15:16 PM
    Road name: N2 Outbound
    STATIONARY VEHICLE in the left lane before Sir Lowry Road
  • Monday Montague Gardens - 12:40 PM
    Road name: Montague Drive Northbound
    DELAYS between Bosmansdam Road and Racecourse Road due to roadworks
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900

The Blackberry Bold Touch 9900 is as the name says...

From R2999.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong emphasis on relationships. Obsession, emotional disputes, retaliation or competitive actions are highlighted....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.