5 July 2004
Poppie Bereng, who worked as a phlebotomist for the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) in Bloemfontein, was appointed permanently on this date, but refused to sign the offer of employment when she learned that the SANBS racially profiled blood donations, and that Coloured and Black donors were considered as "high risk" cases. This led to the withdrawal of Bereng's offer of employment and a vehement debate about the policy in December 2004. Following her expulsion she lodged an unfair dismissal case with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). The commission ruled in her favour and ordered the SANBS to reinstate and compensate her with an amount of R46 662 by no later than November 19, 2004. SANBS medical director Dr Robert Crooks said the racial profiling of blood donations "was necessary" because it helped in assessing risk to the eventual recipients and added the policy was also in line with international practice. In commenting on the furore, outspoken forensic scientist Dr David Klatzow said the level of HIV infection among Black people was much higher that of Whites, which was why the row over "white" and "black" blood for transfusions was a medical and not a political issue. Among those who had condemned the blood transfusion service's practice were Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang and the Human Rights Commission.