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Seshego Equality Court orders Lim edu department to pay up

The department has to pay personal compensation to Nare Mphela, a transgender woman from Moletji following discrimination against her.
March 28, 2017

POLOKWANE – The Limpopo Department of Education was recently ordered by the Seshego Equality Court to pay R60 000 in personal compensation to Nare Mphela, a transgender woman from Moletjie, Ga-Matlala.
The case was brought to the court by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) last year on 14 November after there were allegations of humiliation and harassment based on the gender identity of the learner.

Mphela was the victim of ongoing discrimination by the school and the principal between 2013 and 2014 and as such, caused a hostile and intimidating environment surrounding her gender identity which, she said, led to her failing matric in 2014.

The department was also ordered to pay R20, 000 for Mphela’s psychological expenses and a further R20 000 for her to complete her education.

    According to the Commission, there is still a major concern that LBGTI persons continue to face victimisation, discrimination, and violations of their human rights. The SAHRC Senior Legal Officer, Dr Eileen Carter, once outlined that racial discrimination and hate speech are the two major cases the Commission deals with in the province compared to other human rights disputes. Carter said this during the recent Media Stakeholders Engagement Programme in the city.

She added cases of racial discrimination and negative remarks on people’s disability are often heard at the equality courts, all serious offenses, which she said, can result in jail terms.

Many people, she explained, are not aware that Magistrate’s Courts are also Equality Courts where people being discriminated against can report these matters.

The respondents in this case were the Department of Education and the former school principal.

The Department of Education Spokesperson, Dr Naledzani Rasila, said the matter is being handled by the state attorneys and as such he cannot comment on it. However, Rasila emphasised this was the first time the department resolved such a matter in court.

Source: Review Online

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