10 March 2017
Judgment is to be handed down in the Seshego Equality Court (Limpopo) in a matter brought by the South African Human Rights Commission on behalf of a transgendered learner against a former secondary school principal and the Limpopo Department of Education.
The Commission instituted the matter in the Equality Court on 12 November 2016 on behalf the learner who complained to the Commission of unfair discrimination and harassment at the hands of the principal due to her gender identity. The learner complained that actions by the principal violated her constitutional right to Equality and used hurtful and harmful speech against her.
The South African Human Rights Commission Act empowers the Commission to secure appropriate relief where human rights have been violated. The Commission brought the application in the interest of protecting equality and enforcing the rights of transgender individuals and transgender minors.
The Commission is concerned that LBGTI persons continue to face victimisation, discrimination and violations of their rights basic rights to human dignity and equality. The constitutional rights of transgendered people in general, and transgendered minors in particular, to enjoy the full and equal enjoyment of all rights and freedoms, should be respected and protected in all spheres of society, including places of learning.
The SAHRC welcomes the fact that the Equality Court has speedily considered the issues and is now in a position to hand down the judgment.
Issued by the South African Human Rights Commission
Gail Smith – Spokesperson, SAHRC