The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Thursday granted trade union Solidarity an interdict, temporarily halting the police's controversial project for non-statutory forces (NSF), aimed at promoting former MK and APLA members.
NSF members are police officials from the armed wings of former liberation movements, which have been integrated into the police. The project is known as the MK promotions project.
Solidarity took the urgent application to court to the stop the promotions of approximately 628 NSF members until the court heard arguments on the validity and legality of the project on January 30, 2019.
The trade union has described the verdict as a "victory" for other loyal members of SA Police Service (SAPS), whose opportunities for promotions were being halted by the NSF project.
"Solidarity strongly argues that the promotion of NSF members – who in some cases jump as many as five ranks – is extremely unlawful and unconstitutional. In addition, these unconstitutional promotions will result in other members of the police with years of faithful service not being promoted, solely because they do not have a certain background," Sector Coordinator of special projects at Solidarity Renate Barnard said.
Bernard added that the trade union was also looking forward to the thorough review of the NSF promotions by the court next year.
"It is in the interests of our members and in national interest that the NSF project be reviewed. It is nothing but a politically motivated project," Barnard said.
In April, the court granted an interdict, ordering the police to hand over project information or records to the trade union.
Spokesperson for Minister of Police Bheki Cele, Reneilwe Serero, said: "The decision taken by the High Court is noted by the Ministry of Police and as the SAPS, we respect any court decision/outcome by the courts of law. The judgment will be studied further," Serero said.