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 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.
Following the initiation of legal proceedings, on 7 May 2010, the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (CIPRO) has agreed to permit the AIDS Law Project (ALP) to reserve the name SECTION27, incorporating the AIDS Law Project.
CIPRO initially refused to reserve the name, SECTION27, incorporating the AIDS Law Project, explaining as follows, “your proposed name connote government patronage. The wording employed to serve as a name, cannot be allowed and are calculated to cause damage, moreover misleading and damaging”. CIPRO also refused our request on the basis of a comparison with existing names on its database, however, they bore no resemblance to the requested name.
On 12 March 2010, the ALP assisted Equal Education in submitting a request to the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) under the Promotion of Access to Information Act. The request sought information on the literacy and numeracy pass rates and average test scores for grades 3 and 6 in the Western Cape.
In July 2007, at the time of the publication of its last 18-month review, the ALP was still in its infancy. It had just re-fashioned itself as an independent not-for-profit organisation, having separated itself from the University of the Witwatersrand, moved offices, registered as a law clinic, complied with a range of corporate law requirements, appointed a Board of Directors, and commenced upon a new organisational life whilst pursuing essentially the same mission.