A police member who was overlooked for promotion because of the government’s affirmative action goals has received a huge settlement payout.
Trade union Solidarity says it has achieved this huge settlement this week on behalf of one of its members in the South African Police Service (SAPS). The action followed the member being overlooked for promotion repeatedly as a result of the government trying to stick to affirmative action goals.
According to the head of Solidarity’s Centre for Fair Labour Practices, Anton van der Bijl, this member was discriminated against based on his race. Solidarity is extremely pleased that justice was done.
“Despite the fact that (the Solidarity member) Mr Van Heerden) was the best and preferred candidate for the advertised position, he was still discriminated against merely because of his race, which is prohibited by the Constitution,” Van der Bijl says.
He says race constituted the primary reason why Van Heerden had not been considered for the position(s). Van der Bijl furthermore explained that section 15(3) of the Employment Equity Act prohibits the establishment of quotas. “The Employment Equity Act unequivocally prohibits the reservation of jobs for a certain racial group, and for this reason we took on the SAPS and its Employment Equity Plan on behalf of the member as the SAPS’s refusal to promote this candidate on the grounds of his race basically amounted to the reservation of jobs,” Van der Bijl said.
Solidarity and the SAPS made the settlement an order of the court which, in essence means that Van Heerden has been appointed to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel… and all benefits are backdated. “It is really encouraging that the SAPS has dealt with this matter with an open mind, acknowledging that Van Heerden was entitled to promotion. Such instances strengthen the good relations between us and the SAPS,” Van der Bijl added.