'Affirmative Action not about inequalities anymore'

Correctional Services minister Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. Picture Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - A labour court ruling has prevented the South African Police Service (Saps) from implementing any promotions in line with its Affirmative Action (AA) plan until all law suits against the process have been settled.

Trade union Solidarity approached the Labour Court in Cape Town in May last year in order to challenge the Department of Correction Services’ Affirmative Action (AA) policy.

The union seeks that the plan be declared invalid.

It acted on behalf of four Coloured and one white employee.

Geonita Baartman, Linda-Jean Fortuin, Andrè Jonkers, Christopher February and Pieter Dawidshad were passed over for promotion because of the department’s demographic criteria.

Solidarity’s Dirk Herman said AA has a negative effect on Coloureds, who form the majority in the Western Cape, but not nationally.

“They use national demographics, which is absurd.”

The Correctional Services Department held interviews with the five candidates back in 2010.

Dawidshad was applying for the position of Assistant Director of Human Resources Administration.

He was the chosen candidate for the position.

None of the other candidates were qualified for the position, yet Dawidshad was not appointed because the principle of absolute representation was applied.

The post was then left vacant.

Dawidshad has been with the department since 1986 and has 24 years experience in human resources administration.

Hermann said the ruling will result in the halting of at least 1, 500 promotions.

“The police Affirmative Action plan is not about inequalities anymore, it’s about race. Race is now the highest authority in the police and the constitution on South Africa and the Employment Equity Act simply doesn’t allow that.”

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)