On 20 January 2015 residents of the Ekuthuleni shelter in inner city Johannesburg filed their answering affidavit to the City of Johannesburg's petition to the SCA for leave to appeal the Dladla judgment.
The judgment, handed down in the South Gauteng High Court on 22 August 2014, found that the City and MES' day-time lockout rule is an unjustifiable infringement of the residents' constitutional rights to dignity, freedom and security of person, and privacy. The court also found that the City and MES' refusal to permit the residents to reside in communal rooms together with their spouses or permanent life partners is an infringement of their constitutional rights to dignity and privacy.
In September 2014 the City filed an application in the South Gauteng High Court for leave to appeal the judgment to the SCA; however the High Court dismissed the application with costs. The residents oppose the City’s latest application, arguing that it is inconsistent with the residents' constitutional rights to dignity, freedom and security of the person and privacy. The City’s rules and conditions corrode the residents' well-being and self-respect, and deprive them of the most fundamental form of social support available to anyone: the company of a loving family. They also severely restrict the respondents’ autonomy by curtailing their ability to make the most basic decisions about how to live their daily lives. The City has simply never offered a basis upon which these clear breaches of the residents' rights can be justified in terms of section 36 of the Constitution. Instead, the City claims that its rules and conditions are convenient, practical and, even, reasonable. But that is not enough. The City nowhere makes a coherent argument that its rules and conditions are constitutional.