Friday, November 13, 2009

Why Affirmative Action is just black racism, the 'acceptable' kind

Solidarity challenges 10 cases of racial discrimination.

Govt's obsession with ‘representivity' means promotions denied, critical posts unfilled. The trade union Solidarity announced that it would tackle government in ten separate court cases regarding the application of affirmative action. Nine of the ten cases are on behalf of members against the South African Police Service (SAPS) and one is against the Department of Correctional Services. The legal documents for all ten cases have already been served on both institutions.

According to Dirk Hermann, deputy general secretary of Solidarity, the current application of affirmative action hampers service delivery. "The government identified crime as one of its five priority areas and, therefore, the SAPS is an essential institution when it comes to carrying out government's priorities. The fact is, however, that there is currently a practice in the SAPS, for the sake of the ideology of representation, to rather leave posts vacant or scrap them instead of appointing experienced white police members in the posts," Hermann explained.

"Representation has become the most important driver for the SAPS, instead of pursuing their main objective, namely to protect all South Africans. Good police service to the public is therefore sacrificed for the sake of the ideology of representation."

The first of the ten court cases to be tackled by Solidarity will already be heard in the Labour Court in Johannesburg this coming Monday. "The case will be argued on behalf of Captain Renate Barnard of the SAPS, who has already been refused promotion on two separate occasions based on racial representation. The newly created position has been vacant for more than two years following the rejection of her application, even though she is a suitable candidate for the position and despite the fact that the regional commissioner said after the second application that not appointing her would be to the detriment of service delivery," Hermann said.

Solidarity is taking the cases to the Labour Court because the trade union believes that the cases not only constitute severe discrimination against its members, but also against the South African public in general.

Synopsis of the ten affirmative action lawsuits against the South African government

1. CF DE BRUYN

The person concerned was previously in the employ of the SAPS and was stationed at the Local Criminal Record Centre.
He applied for re-appointment in the SAPS, seeing that the SAPS has a critical shortage of personnel in the specific area of expertise. The SAPS turned down his application on the grounds that his appointment would not promote representativeness. The case has already been conciliated at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and process has been served on the SAPS and filed with the Labour Court.

2. T GOUWS

The person concerned applied for promotion from inspector to captain. He has served in the SAPS for more than 20 years and is stationed at the Air Wing. The promotion post is a specialised post.
He was recommended as the best candidate for the position. However, he was not appointed in the position on the grounds that his appointment would not promote representativeness. The position was not filled. The case has already been conciliated at the CCMA and process has been served on the SAPS and filed with the Labour Court.

3. EJ OOSTHUIZEN

The person concerned was previously in the employ of the SAPS and was stationed at the Local Criminal Record Centre.
He applied for re-appointment in the SAPS, seeing that the SAPS has a critical shortage of personnel in the specific area of expertise. The SAPS turned down his application, citing that his appointment would not promote representativeness. The case has already been conciliated at the CCMA and process has been served on the SAPS and filed with the Labour Court.

4. MM OOSTHUIZEN

The person concerned was previously in the employ of the SAPS and was stationed at the Local Criminal Record Centre.
She applied for re-appointment in the SAPS, seeing that the SAPS has a critical shortage of personnel in the specific area of expertise. The SAPS turned down her application, citing that her appointment would not promote representativeness. The case has already been conciliated at the CCMA and process has been served on the SAPS and filed with the Labour Court.

5. JW DE WET

The person concerned applied for promotion from inspector to captain. He has served in the SAPS for more than 15 years and is stationed at the Local Criminal Record Centre. The promotion post is a specialised post.
He was recommended as the best candidate for the position. However, he was not appointed in the position on the grounds that his appointment would not promote representativeness. The position was not filled. The case has already been conciliated at the CCMA and process has been served on the SAPS and filed with the Labour Court.

6. MB SWANEPOEL

The person concerned applied for promotion from inspector to captain. He has served in the SAPS for more than 15 years and is stationed at Occupational Health and Safety in KwaZulu-Natal. The promotion post is a specialised post.
He has all the required qualifications as well as additional qualifications he obtained through Unisa. He was not appointed in the position on the grounds that his appointment would not promote representativeness. The position was not filled. The case has been conciliated, but process has not been served yet, seeing that the member has applied for another promotion post and is awaiting the outcome of his application.

7. HCV CLAASSENS-LUUS

The person concerned applied for promotion to a higher administrative post in the SAPS. She is stationed at the Local Criminal Record Centre in Witbank. Although she was recommended for the position, she was not appointed in it on the grounds that her appointment would not promote representativeness -
apparently there were too many white women. The post was subsequently advertised externally, but was not filled. The case has already been conciliated at the CCMA and process has been served on the SAPS and filed with the Labour Court.

8. JH PORTER

The person concerned applied for promotion to a higher administrative post in the SAPS. She is stationed at the Local Criminal Record Centre in Secunda. Although she was recommended for the position, she was not appointed in it on the grounds that her appointment would not promote representativeness -
apparently there were too many white women. The post was subsequently advertised externally, but was not filled. The case has already been conciliated at the CCMA and process has been served on the SAPS and filed with the Labour Court.

9. RM BARNARD

The person concerned applied for promotion from captain to superintendent on three separate occasions.
On two of the occasions she was identified and recommended as the best candidate for the position, but no one was appointed in the post owing to affirmative action. On the third occasion the post was simply withdrawn. Her appointment in the position in question would not have affected the affirmative action figures of the SAPS, as other people had been promoted from the level of superintendent to a higher level. The post was never filled. The case will be heard in the Labour Court on 16 and 17 November 2009.

10. MR DENYSSEN - DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES

The person concerned applied for a promotion post at the Logistical Division.
He was identified as the best candidate for the position following the interviews. The position was not filled owing to affirmative action regulations, but the member was considered capable enough to act in the position. The case has already been referred to the Labour Court. A date still has to be set for a pre-trial conference before a judge. The case will be set down for hearing after the pre-trial conference.

Statement issued by Dirk Hermann, Solidarity deputy general secretary.

1 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

If they win they should take their money and leave. They'll be hounded if they return to the SAPS.