SERI represents 133 residents of the Winnie Mandela informal settlement in their action to compel the delivery of RDP houses built with their subsidies, but fraudulently allocated to others over a decade ago.
The residents have noted Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements Lebogang Maile’s remarks about their decision to sue the Ekurhuleni Municipality for constitutional damages, after the municipality missed a court-ordered deadline to replace the residents’ stolen houses. Notably, the MEC was party to the court application in which that deadline was set. The MEC did not oppose the application, and elected to abide by the decision of the court.
The MEC is reported to have said that “our people should raise their dissatisfaction with us first”. This misleadingly implies that the Winnie Mandela residents should have, but did not, approach the state for redress before turning to the courts.
SERI sets out below an edited extract of the residents’ written submissions made to the Supreme Court of Appeal. It summarises extensive efforts the residents made, over the course of ten years, to encourage the state to assist them, before they went to court. We encourage personnel at the office of the MEC to familiarise themselves with it in order to inform an appropriate intervention.