Cops take affirmative action case to Concourt

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Renate Barnard jan 14

INLSA

Renate Barnard. Photo: Bongiwe Mchunu

 

Johannesburg - The SA Police Service (SAPS) will take the Lt-Col Renate Barnard affirmative action case to the Constitutional Court, it said on Tuesday.

Lt-Gen Solomon Makgale confirmed that the police were applying for leave to appeal.

Trade union Solidarity, which represents Barnard, said it was served court papers on Monday.

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) held in November that the SAPS had clearly discriminated against Barnard on the basis of race.

The SCA upheld an appeal against a decision of the Labour Appeal Court that overturned a decision of the Labour Court.

The Labour Court held that Barnard had been unfairly discriminated against when she was not appointed to the promotion position of superintendent within a specialised unit of the SAPS, despite being the best candidate for the post.

Barnard had twice applied unsuccessfully for promotion to the position of superintendent within the then National Evaluation Services, which dealt with complaints by the public and by public officials concerning the broad spectrum of police services.

Despite recommendations by an interviewing panel and her divisional commissioner, the national commissioner did not appoint her to the position, on the basis that racial representivity at the level of superintendent would be negatively affected.

On Tuesday, Solidarity said it would oppose the SAPS's application for leave to appeal.

“Solidarity is shocked by the SAPS's decision to defend its unlawful race practices all the way to the Constitutional Court,” Solidarity executive officer Dirk Hermann said in a statement.

“We get the impression that the SAPS believes that affirmative action annuls the constitutional rights to equality and dignity of white employees like Barnard.”

Solidarity believed it was inappropriate to appeal the matter in the Constitutional Court. - Sapa


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