Equity figures against cop’s promotion – SAPS

2009-11-17 12:32

A CASE involving an SA Police Service (SAPS) captain who says she

was twice overlooked for a position because she was white continues in the

labour court in Johannesburg today.

Renate Barnard, represented by trade union Solidarity’s legal

counsel argued yesterday that she was denied the post of superintendent within

the SAPS in 2005 and again in 2006 because of her skin colour.

Advocate Johan Grogan SC argued that the SAPS had acted unfairly by

not appointing Barnard: “The applicant was subjected to differentiating

treatment by the respondent on the basis of her colour, namely white.”

An interview panel had recommended Barnard for the position on two

occasions “as she was skilled” but National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi

decided not to appoint her although she had been rated the highest of all

applicants by the panel.

The two black candidates recommended along with her were also not

appointed and the SAPS later transferred another officer to act temporarily on

the position.

In a counter argument in court yesterday, SAPS representative

advocate William Mokhare denied the SAPS had racially discriminated against


He argued that appointing her to the position would have hindered

the SAPS’s aim of addressing employment equity across its ranks.

A senior superintendent called to testify on behalf of the police

on Monday told the court that Barnard was not appointed because the position had

been earmarked for the previously disadvantaged.

“Equity guidelines prevented the appointment of two preferred

candidates,” said Senior Superintendent Johannes Phetholo Ramothoka.

“We have to reflect the country’s population ... national

demographics,” he said.

He said SAPS followed employment equity guidelines and that when a

position was available it had to check the demographics and balance positions

according to shortages in particular racial groups.

Grogan was expected to cross-examine Ramothoka when the case

resumed at 10am.

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