SECTION27 is a public interest law centre that seeks to influence, develop and use the law to protect, promote and advance human rights. Our name is drawn from the section in the South African Constitution which enshrines everyone's right to health care, food, water and social security.
On Wednesday, 16 February 2011 at 10.00am Justice Bhoola will deliver judgment in the Mooikloof Estates matter at the Labour Court in Braamfontein.
The case was heard in the Labour Court in December 2010. It relates to the unfair dismissal of a horse-riding instructor and stable manager by Mooikloof Estates in Pretoria. Mr Allpass was dismissed immediately after his former employer discovered that he was HIV positive.
On 14 February 2011, SECTION27 made a written submission on the Department of Social Development’s Draft Regulations under the Social Assistance Act, 2004 (“Draft Regulations”). The Draft Regulations deal with the appeal procedure for aggrieved applicants for social assistance, first to the South African Social Security Agency (“SASSA”) and then to the Independent Tribunal for Appeals (“Tribunal”).
SECTION27 recommended certain procedural and substantive changes to the Draft Regulations that are important for the realisation of the right to social assistance guaranteed by section 27 of the Constitution.
The Lesbian and Gay Equality Project, Treatment Action Campaign and SECTION27 are saddened and outraged to learn of the brutal murder of comrade David Kato in Kampala, Uganda yesterday, 26 January 2011. We join activists in Africa and across the world in condolences to fellow comrades in Uganda, his loved ones, family and friends.
On December 2nd 2010 judge Urmila Bhoola of the Labour Court reserved judgment in the case of Gary Shane Allpass v Mooikloof Estates (Proprietary) Ltd. Amongst other things, the case concerns the alleged unfair dismissal of a horse riding instructor on the grounds of his HIV status.
The applicant, Mr Gary Allpass, is an award-winning horse rider and instructor who has been living with HIV since 1992. He was represented in court by Advocates Warren Banks and Adila Hassim, who were instructed by Webber Wentzel Attorneys. Hassim is the head of litigation and legal services at SECTION27.
Over the past year, the Minister of Human Settlements, Tokyo Sexwale, has been praised for his energy in tackling the housing crisis. He recently signed service delivery agreements with his nine MECS for Outcome 8 of the presidential outcomes – sustainable human settlements and improved quality of household life – and he has been very vocal on what actions will accompany these agreements, as well as the challenges faced by his department. However, some of the Minister’s recent statements (see below) point to a lack of understanding of the reasons for the emergence and existence of informal settlements and illegally occupied inner city buildings. Further, his statements about the legal framework and recent court cases show a disregard for the role of the courts in enforcing the obligations imposed by the Constitution on the state, and in advancing struggles for fundamental rights in a constitutional democracy.