The pretty Gayle Yerriah resigned- a bit too fast- from the Equal Opportunities Commission following objections that she had only three years practice in the legal profession instead of the five required by the Equal Opportunities Act for membership.
On closer reading of the Act it can be noted that section 27 (1B) (b) specifies that [only] one of the members is required to have not less than five years practice. So Ms Yerriah’s membership of the EOC was in conformity with the EOA, and all the critics against her are unjustified.
Furthemore, members of the commission are nominated by the President, on the advice of the Prime Minister, and it is them who would have been to blame had any unqualified member been nominated.
Update: Note that both of the two other members may lack that qualification of 5 years practice in law. It was not Ms Yerriah’s responsibility to verify that, and contrary to what is implied by the assertion that she misled the President she most probably did not come knocking at Mrs Gurib-Fakim’s door with a falsified CV to ask to be nominated.
Equal Opportunities Act
PART VI – EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION
[Heading amended by s. 6 of Act 31 of 2011 w.e.f. 31 December 2011.]
27. Equal Opportunities Commission
(1) There is established for the purposes of this Act an Equal Opportunities
Commission, which shall be a body corporate.
(1A) The Commission shall consist of a Chairperson and 3 other members.
(1B) (a) The Chairperson shall be a person who has been—
(i) a Judge;
(ii) a Magistrate for not less than 10 years;
(iii) a law practitioner for not less than 10 years; or
(iv) a Magistrate and a law practitioner for an aggregate period
of not less than 10 years.
(b) One of the members shall be a person who has been a law prac-
titioner for not less than 5 years.
(c) The other members shall be persons having knowledge and
experience in the field of law, employment, industrial relations, sociology or