Court order sought on SAPS EE plan

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Johannesburg - A court order is necessary to ensure the SA Police Service's employment equity plan is followed, the Johannesburg Labour Court heard on Wednesday.

Martin Brassey SC, for Solidarity trade union, argued before Judge Robert Lagrange that Solidarity had originally approached the court to set aside the SAPS's plan because it appeared race and gender demographics were the final and absolute considerations used when making appointments.

However, upon receiving SAPS's answering affidavit after the application was filed, it became clear Solidarity had no fundamental disagreement with the plan itself, or its implementation in principle.

Instead, Solidarity sought an order that would entrench:

* The plan being able to use race and gender as a factor when making appointments, but not use over representation of race or gender as a barrier to appointment;

* The use of both regional and national demographics when determining levels of representation, within the bounds of the Employment Equity Act; and;

* The next employment equity plan produced by SAPS would articulate the demands of the order.

He said Solidarity was concerned with the future process of employment equity within the service.

Brassey also touched on the case of Lt-Col Renata Barnard, given its possible impact on the application.

Lagrange noted his concern about the pending nature of the matter, to which Brassey suggested additional submissions could be made regarding a possible order.

Solidarity and Barnard were awaiting the Constitutional Court's judgment on a police bid to appeal a Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) decision in November last year.

The SCA overturned a Labour Appeal Court ruling that the police were correct in not promoting Barnard because she is white.

Acting Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke reserved judgment on the application, made on March 20.

Barnard resigned from the police last week Wednesday.

Wednesday's application continues.


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