Friday, August 11th, 2017
The trade union Solidarity, has won a case on behalf of one of their members, Sergeant Armand Gerber when the Labour Court in Cape Town today decided that he should be reinstated in his administrative position and that all disciplinary actions against him should be discontinued.
This follows after Solidarity was forced to approach the Court after the South African Police Service (SAPS) deployed Sergeant Armand Gerber, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, to the Court to transport prisoners on 16 February 2017.
Gerber was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in 2014, after experiencing a traumatic incident while on duty. Sergeant Gerber was declared unfit to handle a firearm by the SAPS until 2020 and was placed in an administrative position after the diagnosis.
According to Anton van der Bijl, Head of Solidarity’s Centre for Fair Labour Practices, Sergeant Gerber is exposed to stressful and dangerous scenarios at the Court which he is unable to handle. “We would’ve expected him to be handled with more care and caution but it didn’t happen,” said Van der Bijl.
Van der Bijl argues that according to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the SAPS is legally obliged to create a workplace that is completely free of anything that can cause injuries or illnesses. “However, SAPS have failed to protect an employee who cannot guarantee his own safety and the safety of his colleagues,” Van der Bijl added.
“We are delighted with the verdict which once again defines the concept of illegal instructions. We are glad that the Court were able to provide the necessary sensitivity,” said Van der Bijl.