On Monday, SERI director of litigation, Nomzamo Zondo discussed the lawfulness and constitutionality of over 20 police raids conducted on residents of 11 buildings in inner-city Johannesburg. The raids were conducted the behest of the Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, between 30 June 2017 and 3 May 2018.
Nomzamo discussed the raids and the brutality that civilians experience. The most recent raid was conducted at 2am while residents were sleeping. The police forced them out of the building into the cold and continued to raid their homes.
SERI has launched a case on behalf of the residents of 11 buildings in inner-city Johannesburg challenging the lawfulness and constitutionality of the raids. The majority of the 20 raids were authorised in terms of section 13(7) of the South African Police Services Act 68 of 1995, which empowers the police to “cordon-off” an area to “restore public order or ensure the safety of the public”, while two were conducted without any legal authorisation at all. The residents challenge the constitutionality of section 13(7) insofar as it allows for a person’s home to be searched without a warrant issued by a court. The residents also claim compensation for the breach of their rights to privacy and human dignity.