Affirmative action 'on its head': Solidarity

March 23, 2011 By Sapa

"In terms of a ruling [on Tuesday], two white police members, Emil and Martha Oosthuizen, must be appointed retrospectively in accordance with a settlement reached between Solidarity and the SAPS," spokesman Dirk Hermann said in a statement.

He said this followed their application for reappointment in 2008, which was denied because their reappointment did not promote representation.

They both worked as fingerprint experts in the SAPS from 1990 until their resignation in 2006.

In July 2009 they applied for about 20 positions separately, and were finally reappointed in August 2010.

Hermann said that in terms of the court order, police records had to be adjusted to show their reappointment date as March 2009.

"Solidarity is turning the unreasonable way in which affirmative action is implemented in the SAPS and the public service on its head case by case," he said.

"The test of all these cases is to determine whether the ideology of absolute representivity should be implemented at the expense of service delivery."

Hermann said that in not one case could the ideology withstand the trial by court.

The union had won eight consecutive affirmative action cases against the SAPS and government, out of twelve cases brought before the court.

In one of these cases last year, the court ruled that Captain Renate Barnard be promoted to superintendent.

Hermann said the SAPS had appealed the ruling and the case would go to the Labour Appeals court on May 4.

"In our opinion, this case is essential since a higher court will now determine whether affirmative action in South Africa is reasonable or not," Hermann said.