Today's Labour News

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sandf thumb medium90 89Mail & Guardian reports that a woman has been reinstated by the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) after she was denied employment because of her HIV status.

The woman, who was recruited in 2017 into the Military Skills Development System (MSDS) on a two-year fixed-term contract, was discriminated against by the defence force after she tested positive for HIV during a health assessment in 2018. Despite years of taking her antiretroviral treatment, maintaining good physical health and doing well in her training, she was not offered a contract in the Core Service System (CSS) after the completion of her MSDS training in December 2018. The other recruits who completed the MSDS programme were offered full-term contracts. In September 2021, the woman approached the public interest law centre, Section27, for legal assistance. Section27 said it had been in talks with the SANDF since 2021 and only made progress in April 2023 when the defence force said it would look into re-employing the woman. After threatening the defence force with litigation, Section27 said its client was offered an employment contract in the CSS in December 2023. “While we welcome the decision of the SANDF to re-employ our client in this case, she should not have had to spend five years unemployed because of the SANDF’s disregard for the law and her rights,” Section27’s Pearl Nicodemus noted.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Umamah Bakharia at Mail & Guardian (subscriber access)


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