Trade union Solidarity has announced that it has launched an urgent application in the North Gauteng High Court against the South African Police Service because of the latter’s alleged unconstitutional and discriminatory reassessment and promotion of current and former MK members. In the application, Solidarity requests that the SAPS should disclose all information regarding the NSF project (Non Statutory Forces Project).
This followed after the SAPS started with a project to selectively reassess and promote certain military veterans in terms of the NSF project. According to Anton van der Bijl, Head of Labour Law Services at Solidarity, only those members who form part of the non-statutory forces (or the so-called “freedom fighters”) receive certain pension benefits and promotions or reassessment benefits, while members who were part of the ordinary statutory forces such as the Defence Force do not receive the same benefits.
Van der Bijl added that this project constituted blatant racism and that it would sow further discontent in an already divided country. “This project, which only provides benefits for certain individuals because they have a certain political affiliation and background, constitutes blatant racism and cannot be tolerated. This has never been the goal of the Constitution and other legislation and it violates several international conventions of which South Africa is a signatory,” Van der Bijl said.
According to Schalk de Bruin, Deputy General Secretary at Solidarity, the trade union was compelled to approach the court since the SAPS unobtrusively continued with the implementation of the project. “It is being said that the project is still in its negotiation phase, but the SAPS simply ignores that. Not all of the relevant parties have been consulted, including Solidarity and its members. It is once again clear to us that the SAPS only promotes the interests of a select group of employees at the expense of others. We have the interests of all career-minded police members at heart, and therefore we’ll continue to fight for our members in the SAPS,” De Bruin concluded.