The trade union Solidarity has obtained a warrant from the Labour Court for the seizure of goods of the Department of Correctional Services. This comes after the Department showed up at court unprepared for an affirmative action case earlier this year.
The Department requested the court to postpone the case and offered to pay Solidarity’s legal costs, but no payment has been received to date.
The affirmative action case was brought against the Department of Correctional Services on behalf of Heman Denysschen, a member of Solidarity. In the case, Correctional Services refused to promote Denysschen, even though he was the best candidate for the specific post. The department decided to leave the post vacant in order not to appoint a white man.
The case will come before the Johannesburg Labour Court tomorrow. The court is expected to give a ruling on the balance between affirmative action and an efficient public service, the union says. Solidarity has 12 affirmative action cases against the South African government. “We are concerned about the obstacles the government continually puts in the way of the administration of justice, avers Solidarity deputy general secretary Dirk Hermann. “We get the impression that the courts are not used to administer justice, but to frustrate it. A civic organisation is not supposed to go to court frequently to force the government to act within the framework of the law.
“In this case, the Department of Correctional Services showed up at court unprepared and subsequently offered to cover Solidarity’s legal costs. However, the Department failed to do so. It seems that the state, with its deep pockets, uses litigation in an attempt to bankrupt civic organisations financed by ordinary South Africans. The state uses taxpayers’ money against them, which we cannot allow. We have therefore obtained a warrant that has already been handed to the sheriff in order to proceed with the seizure of goods of the Department,” Hermann added.