Fin24

Ruling reserved over affirmative action

2011-05-04 21:12

Johannesburg - The Johannesburg Labour Appeal Court on Wednesday reserved judgement on an attempt by the SAPS to contest an earlier ruling promoting a white woman police officer to superintendent.

Trade union Solidarity, which is representing Captain Renate Barnard, said it was expected to take between three months and a year for a ruling to be made.

The union's Dirk Hermann said arguments in court on Wednesday centred on how to apply affirmative action in line with the Constitution. He said the matter might end up in the Constitutional Court.

On February 26 last year the Labour Court ordered the police to promote Barnard to superintendent after she was denied the move because of her skin colour.

"She applied for a promotion as superintendent of the complaints investigation unit for the first time in 2005. She has been working as a captain in the same unit since 2004," Hermann said.

A selection panel twice identified Barnard as the best candidate for the post in the inspectorate, created to improve service delivery to the public. The job was advertised in September 2005. Barnard and other candidates applied for it.

Service delivery jeopardised

After interviews were held, the panel allocated a mark of 86.67% to her, which was 17.5% higher than the next-highest score allocated to a Captain Shibambu.

The panel found the difference in Barnard and Shibambu's scores so great that service delivery would be jeopardised if Shibambu was appointed in the post.

Although the panel recommended Barnard for appointment, Assistant Commissioner Rasegatla resolved not to appoint her because doing so would not be in line with affirmative action policies. The position was not filled.

When the position was again advertised in 2006, Barnard reapplied and was once again the most suitable candidate. This time Rasegatla decided she should be appointed. In his recommendation to former police commissioner Jackie Selebi, he pointed out that other candidates had had a year to improve to compete with her, but had not done so. Selebi turned down her appointment on the grounds that it would not promote affirmative action.

He subsequently withdrew the post.

 

Comments
  • Spoofed - 2011-05-04 21:34

    Same thing happened to my mom. She gave up on applying

  • Gen - 2011-05-04 21:52

    So who's a Racist?

  • c1 - 2011-05-04 21:56

    RACIST!

  • Francis - 2011-05-04 21:56

    And who says racism is not an issue in this country?

  • c1 - 2011-05-04 21:57

    Prime example of racism.

  • Blip - 2011-05-04 22:29

    Why, after all the evidence has been led and all the legal arguments and counter-arguments have been heard, is ANY judge permitted to "reserve judgement" and delay giving his or her verdict? It's not as if the judge/assessors are going to spend three months to a year going into seclusion to consider their verdict. They'll be back on the bench tomorrow, hearing a different case and getting on with their lives. But the person whose case is "judgement reserved" at the whim of a judge cannot get on with their lives until that verdict is announced. The judge is therefore actively and deliberately victimising the victim. This is sheer judicial bullying and it is utterly unacceptable. The judge must rule right NOW -- justice deferred is justice denied.

  • Jamesons - 2011-05-05 01:31

    I thought the goverment stated AA did not count for woman.

  • GH - 2011-05-05 06:46

    So AA is more important than service delivery or what is in the best interests of the police force. Go figure.

  • carjan - 2011-05-05 08:42

    Selebi should be charged for fraud. Turning down her appointment on the grounds that it would not promote affirmative action, must under these circumstances constitute fraud due to harm/potential harm to public. Put him in jail for a further 5 years

  • Charles - 2011-05-05 15:48

    AND WE WONDER WHY THERE IS SUCH A LACK OF SERVICE DELIVERY - WE CANT APPOINT ANYBODY TO POSITIONS BECAUSE THEY ARE TO GOOD BUT NOT AFFIRMATIVE . WHAT KIND OF LOGIC IS THIS . SAD SAD SAD !!!

  • Peter - 2011-05-05 20:51

    Well, affirmative action will be around until there is a more equitable distribution of wealth in South Africa. 17 years after the end of Apartheid, SA is still one of the most unequal societies on Earth, with a GINI coefficient of of > 60. Much more need to be done to even out the (unjust) gap between opulent Constantia and and poverty-stricken Makhaza.

  • pohunter1 - 2012-07-16 08:15

    Ideology rules over practicality.

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