Johannesburg - Trade union
Solidarity filed papers at the Johannesburg Labour Court on Thursday,
asking for the SA Police Service (Saps) affirmative action plan to be
Solidarity deputy general secretary Dirk Hermann said in a statement that the union aims to dismantle the entire plan.
"We cannot continue taking individual cases to court.
Now for the first time we are taking to court the root of the problem,
namely absolute racial representation," he said.
The union has already taken Saps to court in 14 separate cases.
Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Labour Minister Mildred
Oliphant and police commissioner General Riah Phiyega were named as
respondents in the documents.
Mthethwa's spokesperson Zweli Mnisi said he had not seen the papers, and could not comment on its contents.
"(It is) safe to say if the matter is brought before court, then our legal team will handle the matter accordingly."
In the papers Solidarity claimed that Saps'
affirmative action plan amounted to social manipulation based on blatant
race and gender quotas.
It said the "ideal" race-based targets set by the Saps
affirmative action plan between 2010 to 2014 were 79.35% for
Africans, 2.46% for Indians, 8.85% for coloureds and 9.34% for whites.
The union claimed this was unconstitutional.
"Under the constitution it is impermissible to
discriminate on the grounds of race and gender. The Employment Equity
Act, in outlawing discrimination, echoes this principle," the papers
It said the "naked pursuit" of demographic representation based on racial factors can never be lawful.
"The enactments legitimate affirmative action measures
in order to redress the inequities of the past, but they positively
decline to sanction social engineering mechanically designed to produce
racial and gender representation in the future."
It said that the plan did not take into account the regional differences in racial demographics.
"For example, the representation of coloured people is
made to depend on national demographics despite the preponderance of
such persons in the Western Cape."
Hermann said the "problem" with absolute racial
representation was that employers were beginning to "believe it was
proper thing to do".
"Solidarity wants to petition the court to give its
verdict on the question of whether this practice is allowed by the
Employment Equity Act and the constitution of South Africa," he said.
"The irony is that this racial ideology is hitting
ordinary South Africans the hardest: people who are victims of poor
service in various areas, including poor policing service."
He said the court date for the case has not been set yet.