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'We aren't guilty of racial discrimination'

The SANBS says just because it settled the case, doesn't mean it's guilty of racial discrimination.

An agreement was reached and the SANBS agreed to give equal opportunity to all races for job vacancies.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) says just because it settled a dispute with former employees does not mean it's guilty of racial discrimination.

Theodore Reyneke and Sanet Schonfeldt claim they were prevented from applying for management positions at the company because they are white.

They approached trade union Solidarity to help them with legal action against the SANBS.

An agreement was reached at the Labour Court in Braamfontein yesterday where the SANBS agreed to give equal opportunity to all races for job vacancies.

SANBS attorney Osborne Molatudi said there has been no admission of wrongdoing on either side.

"There's no admission of wrongdoing on either party the employer was correct in creating the space creation strategy because he did so pursuant to the employment equity plan."

Meanwhile, Reyneke and Shonfeld said they're happy with Thursday's settlement.

Solidarity's Dirk Hermann said, "The applicant couldn't apply for the post because of the colour of their skin and this has now changed meaning in the future, anyone can apply for vacancies so it's a big victory."

No financial settlement was made.

At the same time, Solidarity says it hopes the settlement of the case will send a message to other companies in the country.

"It sends out a message to other employers that this is unfair. We don't accept that because it's not in line with the Employment Equity Act and it doesn't respect the Constitution."