Judgment reserved in SAPS equity case

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iol news pic SAPS parade INDEPENDENT MEDIA Newly graduated members of the South African Police Service during a passing out parade. File picture: Phill Magakoe

Johannesburg - Judgment was reserved on Wednesday on an application in the Johannesburg Labour Court for an order entrenching the SA Police Service's employment equity plan.

The application was brought by trade union Solidarity before Judge Robert Lagrange.

Hamilton Maenetje SC, for the SAPS, said the court order Solidarity wanted was an acknowledgement it could not pursue its original application.

“Our learned friends quite creatively put up a draft order 1/8suggesting 3/8 that SAPS may not be true to its word,” Maenetje told the court.

Earlier, Martin Brassey SC, for Solidarity, argued the union had originally approached the court to set aside the police's plan, since it appeared race and gender demographics were the final and absolute considerations for making appointments.

However, upon receiving the police's answering affidavit after the application was filed, it became clear the union had no fundamental disagreement with the plan itself, nor its implementation, in principle.

Instead, Solidarity sought an order that would allow for race or gender to be used as factors in appointments. It however did not want over-representation of race or gender to be a barrier to appointment.

The union wanted both regional and national demographics to be taken into account when determining levels of representation, within the bounds of the Employment Equity Act.

Finally it wanted the police's next employment equity plan to articulate the demands of the order.

Maenetje said it would be wholly inappropriate for a court to grant Solidarity's application.

“He (Brassey) is saying that SAPS do take regional demographics into account... .This court has no business ordering parties to obey the law when they are obeying the law.

“On what has been presented to your lordship, the application must be dismissed with costs.”


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