HIV positive soldiers win case against SANDF
Written by defenceWeb, Monday, 29 September 2014
Judge Meyer Joffe ruled the military’s defence of its own health policy as regards serving members who are HIV positive for the second time was “vexatious, frivolous and abusive” according to Business Day.
He ordered the immediate reinstatement of five people who were denied positions in the country’s military on the basis of their HIV status.
Judge Joffe also ruled the SANDF was responsible for the costs of the court action, brought by Section 27. He handed down his judgement on Friday.
Earlier this year, the non-government organisation and the defence unions Sandu (SA National Defence Union) and SASFU (SA Security Forces Union) went to court to argue that the SANDF continued to make personnel decisions based only on health status issues, despite a previous ruling deeming this practice unconstitutional.
READ MOREAnother boost for the military’s fight against HIV/Aids
Surgeon General confident HIV/Aids can be beaten in the SANDF
The South African military and HIV/Aids
SA National Defence Force
“As a union we are obviously delighted at the judgement,” Sandu national secretary Pikkie Greeff said. He also approved of the court decision that new employment contracts be offered to the three.
“The court also specifically berated the SANDF’s pettiness to defend this matter as frivolous and vexatious, justifying the award of a punitive costs order against the SANDF.
“This case is a victory against unfair discrimination based on HIV status and is a clear illustration of the SANDF’s intransigence as regards the Constitutional rights of all soldiers.
“It is a disgrace that soldiers, in this day and age, are still compelled to seek the assistance of the courts in a simple matter such as this where the SANDF command structure blatantly disrespects the Constitution,” he said.
Given the poor success rate of lawyers acting on behalf of the SANDF, Greeff is of the opinion it’s “high time” individual senior officials and officers in the Department of Defence be held responsible.
“I see them as being responsible, in their personal capacity, for wasting not only the court’s time but also taxpayers’ money. If senior officials are prosecuted for, among others, wasteful expenditure this type of unnecessary fiasco won’t happen again.”
The latest available annual report of the Department of Defence and Military Veterans, for the 2012/13 financial year, show its legal services division as having achieved a success rate in court of just under 15%. Of the 104 cases that went to court by fat the majoring of rulings – 90 – went against military lawyers.
- Farm attacks and murders debated in Free State legislature
- Denel going back to court for legal ruling on Denel Asia joint venture
- Armed Forces Day events in Durban and Port Elizabeth cost R50 million plus
- Russian Naval Task Force surprises Cape Town
- Navy heroes who died attempting to save lives in Durban to be recognised
- Personnel rightsizing shaping up to be a headache for DoD
- SA hoping to sell weapons to Iran
- Navy sees Projects Biro and Hotel being beyond the horizon
- SADC leaders meet in Swaziland
- Shrinking budget hits SA Navy operations
Denel seeks closure on legality of Denel Asia JV
by Denel Corporate, 24 March 2017
The company has applied to the High Court of SA for an order declaring it obtained approval to form a joint venture with VR Laser Asia.
TactiCall system has quality, performance recognised by certification
by Saab, 23 March 2017
The Airwave certificate allows Saab to install and operate the TactiCall Dispatcher products at any UK customer using Airwave.
Saab receives order for AT4 CS ER and AT4 CS HP
by Saab, 22 March 2017
The AT4 CS ER and AT4 CS HP are lightweight, man-portable, fully disposable weapons characterised by ease of use and handling.
PAZ to extend Airbus radar satellites constellation for improved monitoring capabilities by end of 2017
by AIRBUS Defence & Space, 22 March 2017
Hisdesat's PAZ will be positioned in the same orbit as TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X, and form a high-resolution SAR satellite constellation with them.