Justice and Constitutional Development welcomes judgement handed to Johannes Kruger

Constitutional Court judgement to deter other would be racists in the workplace

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DOJ and CD) welcomes the judgement handed to Mr Kruger yesterday for addressing his former colleague, Mr Mboweni in a derogatory and racist manner.

Mr Kruger was dismissed by the South African Revenue Services (SARS) following the incident. He then approached the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) which resolved that he be reinstated at SARS. Following an unsuccessful application by SARS to the Labour Court on this matter, it then approached the Constitutional Court.

Yesterday, the Constitutional Court resolved this matter and delivered the judgement that Mr Kruger not be reinstated at SARS. It found that the CCMA Arbitrator acted unreasonably in ordering Mr Kruger’s initial reinstatement.

The Department is of the view that this judgement will deter potential racist behaviour from being meted out in the workplace. This judgement is viewed positively in the wake of the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill which was approved by the Cabinet for public comment on 19 October 2016.

The Bill seeks to, among other things, criminalise hate crimes and hate speech and to put in place measures to prevent and combat these acts. It also provides for appropriate sentences that may be imposed on persons who commit such offences.

The Bill has been drafted following thorough studies of similar pieces of legislation internationally. It is now available on the departmental website for public comment. The public consultation process closes on 31 January 2017. We encourage all South Africans to participate in this consultation process.

Prior to the drafting of the Bill, the Department, together with other role players, spearheaded the development of the National Action Plan to combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerances (the NAP) which is likely to be presented to Cabinet during 2017.

Racism has no place in South Africa. The Department is committed to uprooting this scourge from society and to put an end to the vicious incidents of intolerance and racism that have become increasingly prevalent in our society.

Source: Government of South Africa.

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