- Constitutional Court Affirms the Rights of Domestic Workers (19 November 2020). Today the Constitutional Court handed down a ground-breaking judgment on the Mahlangu v Minister of Labour matter, declaring the constitutional invalidity of section 1(xix)(v) of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act 130 of 1993 (COIDA), previously known as Workmen’s Compensation, which excluded domestic workers employed in private households from the definition of "employee", precluding them from claiming from the Compensation Fund for work-related injuries, illnesses or death. The Court pointed out the stark contrast as “all other employees are protected by COIDA”. Significantly, the Court ruled that the order of constitutional invalidity is to have immediate and retrospective effect from 27 April 1994. >> Read the full statement here.
- Families of slain Marikana miners want the truth about massacre to be revealed (13 November 2020). On 10 to 12 November 2020, Former North West Deputy Police Commissioner, Major General William Mpembe, Brigadier Gideon van Zyl, Colonel Dingaan Madoda and Lieutenant Colonel Oupa Pule presented evidence in their defence at the North West High Court on charges relating to the death of Motisaoitsile Van Wyk Sagalala, one of the Marikana striking miners. The four police officers are charged with defeating the ends of justice, contravening Section (29)(1) of the IPID Act for failure to report a death in police custody to IPID and contravening Section 6(2) of the Commission Act for lying to the Commission under oath. >> Read the full statement here.
- SERI supports Nigeria's #EndSARS movement & condemns the use of force against peaceful protestors (23 October 2020). Over the past two weeks, young people across Nigeria have taken to the streets under the banner of the #EndSARS movement calling for the immediate abolition of the federal government’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) which has operated since 1992. The Squad has been accused of a wide range of excesses including extortion, harassment and humiliation, arbitrary arrest, rape, torture and extrajudicial killings. Many people including youth and members of the LGBTQ+ community, reported being targeted based on their appearance. The demonstrations call for an end to police brutality, demand police accountability, and call for an end to widespread corruption and poor leadership. >> Read the full statement here.
- SERI launches Water Rights Case Study: Water services on farms - The role of the municipality (19 October 2020). On Tuesday 20 October 2020, the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI) will launch its first case study, Farm dwellers fight for access to water in Umgungundlovu District Municipality, which is one of four case studies in SERI’s “Claiming Water Rights in South Africa” research project. The research examines how water rights are being claimed in South Africa and draws lessons from the work of communities and civil society organisations in a diverse range of circumstances. The research series consists of four case study reports and a synthesis report. >> Read the full statement here.
- Rhodes University continues to deny Yolanda Dyantyi a fair disciplinary hearing (4 September 2020). Rhodes University continues its war against Yolanda Dyantyi, a former student who took part in the anti-rape protests on the University campus in April 2016. In November 2017, the University permanently expelled Ms. Dyantyi after she was convicted of “kidnapping”, “assault”, “defamation” and “insubordination” by a disciplinary inquiry instituted by the University. She was convicted by a disciplinary inquiry, which was procedurally flawed. The punishment meted out was grossly prejudicial. The terms of her expulsion have made it practically impossible for her to enrol in any other higher education institution for the foreseeable future. >> Read the full statement here.
- Calgro M3, SAPS, JMPD and the Sheriff collude to illegally evict Fleurhof residents (31 August 2020). On Tuesday 25th August 2020, employees of the Red Ant Security Relocation & Eviction Services once again descended on a block of flats in Fleurhof, illegally evicting dozens of residents from their homes, leaving them homeless and destitute. This ruthless campaign has culminated in the eviction of thousands of residents since the beginning of August. No court order has been granted for any of the multiple evictions on the residents’ homes. These evictions violate the Constitution, which mandates that a court order considering all relevant circumstances must be granted before an eviction can be executed, as well as the regulations in terms of the Disaster Management Act. >> Read the full statement here.
- Excessive use of force by police is a failure to learn from Marikana (28 August 2020). On 26 August 2020, Nathaniel Julius died in hospital after he was allegedly shot and wounded by police officials at Eldorado Park. Nathaniel was a 16-year-old boy living with disability. According to Nathaniel’s family, he failed to respond to questions from the police officials because of his disability and was consequently shot. The community of Eldorado Park have taken to the streets to demand justice. The police have responded with violence, further escalating tensions. >> Read the full statement here.
- Eight years since Marikana, the brutality and lack of accountability continues (13 August 2020). Sunday, 16 August 2020 will mark the 8th anniversary of the Marikana massacre. Each year has passed without justice for the mineworkers and their families. Since 2012, only nine police officers have been prosecuted for the deaths of three striking mineworkers and two police officers. However, the National Prosecuting Authority, has failed to prosecute anyone for the deaths of the 34 mineworkers who were shot and killed by the police on 16 August 2012. >> Read the full statement here.
SERI challenges Sisulu to stop demolitions of homes across the country (2 July 2020). SERI has noted the media statement issued by the Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation on Wednesday, 1 July 2020 in response to the brutal eviction of Empolweni residents in Khayelitsha Cape Town by the Anti-Land Invasion Unit and metropolitan police. In the statement, the Department outlines Minister Sisulu’s intentions to challenge the City of Cape Town in court for illegal evictions and provide permanent housing for 49 families currently in Empolweni. While the Minister’s efforts are welcomed, they fail to fully acknowledge the widespread nature of evictions and demolitions of poor and vulnerable households across the country during the COVID-19 lockdown. >> Read the full statement here.
For a full archive of all SERI press statements from 2010 to 2020, see here.