Thanks mainly to Pieter Dirk Uys and his writings and productions, including “Farce about Uys”, we are able to laugh at ourselves when we are being foolish. Reading the various judgments of the Labour Court, the Labour Appeal Court, the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitution Court in the SAPS v Barnard case we have to ask ourselves where it all went so horribly wrong. ILO Convention 111 of 1958, which South Africa ratified in 1997, effectively excludes “affirmative action” from the definition of “discrimination”. The Conventional also provides that “[A]ny distinction, exclusion or preference in respect of a particular job based on the inherent requirements thereof shall not be deemed to be discrimination”. Taking measures to remedy past injustice are sanctioned by our Constitution and should also not be deemed to be discrimination. So logically it is wrong to think that discrimination can be fair.
Professor Du Toit’s Comment Apples, pears and fruitless litigation in IR Network today [subscription required] succintly makes the point that the judgment in the Constituional Court reaffirms that “affirmative action and unfair discrimination are apples and pears”.
Apart from that Comment there are the following recent reports and comments:
ConCourt’s judgment on employment equality [ posted on GilesFiles on 2 September 2014]