Dennis Webster has penned a piece in the Daily Maverick discussing why SERI's recently published Informal Trade in Johannesburg: Your Rights will be important for street traders in the city, and around the country. He suggests that the current climate in which street traders make a living does not support the development of a haelthy informal sector in which traders can meet the demand for their products and services:

"The informal economy and the people who work in it are crucial to the South African economy: 27% of people working in South Africa work informally, contributing 8% of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) every year. In a broader context of rampant unemployment, these jobs, which are predominantly taken up by women, support thousands of families. Informal businesses also provide poor and working class families with cheap and readily available goods and services.

However those making a living in the informal sector do not receive the same protection from local governments as formal businesses do."

  • Read the full op-ed here.

SERI's Edward Molopi recently participated in a panel discussion on SABC 1's Chatroom on the respective rights of landlords and tenants, where he emphasised the constitutional rights of people to access to adequate housing, and to not be evicted without a court order.

  • Watch the full panel discussion here.

In late 2016, the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) commissioned a legal opinion from SERI on the restraint of protest in or near university campuses.

The full opinion is now available for free download.

The opinion aims to address the constitutional rights to the freedom of expression, bodily integrity and the rights of detained and arrested persons. The legal opinion also takes cognisance of the judgments dealing with the right to protest.

  • CASAC opinion here.

SERI wishes to fill up to two vacancies for candidate attorneys. These vacancies will arise on or after 1 January 2018. 

The SERI Law Clinic has a first-rate human rights practice, which encompasses constitutional and administrative law, criminal defence, defamation, labour law, property law, contract law (insofar as it involves consumer protection) and actions against the police and other delictual claims. SERI concentrates its work in South Africa’s townships, informal settlements and other poor and marginalised communities. SERI’s practitioners appear regularly at all levels of the court system, up to and including the Constitutional Court. SERI has an enviable track record in obtaining and enforcing ground-breaking judgments. You can find out more about SERI on www.seri-sa.org and www.fightingforaliving.org.

The requirements for the positions are as follows -

Essential:

  • LLB Degree.
  • Interest in and, some prior engagement with, human rights law or litigation.

Desirable:

  • Interest in, and experience of, research and publication.
  • Fluency in any of South Africa’s indigenous languages.

SERI is committed to transformation. Black South Africans, women and disabled persons are strongly encouraged to apply for this post. If you are interested in either of these posts, please send a CV, together with a covering letter, to Princess Nkuna at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. In your letter, provide a detailed explanation of why you are interested in working for SERI, and what qualities and experience you would bring to the post. Generalised covering letters, which do not engage with SERI’s activities and purpose, will not be considered.

The closing date for applications is Friday 21 April 2017. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted, and will be expected to make themselves available for interview in April or May 2017.

  • Read the full job advertisement here.

In the 23 March 2017 edition of The Star, SERI candidate attorney Khuselwa Dyantyi wrote on the need for the criminal prosecution of those responsible for the deaths of 37 striking mineworkers at Marikana in August 2012.

According to Dyantyi:

"The commission heard testimony on how the police hunted down miners who were fleeing from the koppie, in what became known as "Scene Two" and that some of them were shot with their hands up, indicating their surrender. Post-mortem reports showed that some of the deceased miners were shot in the back, suggesting that they were not posing a danger to the police.

A police officer was heard and seen on cellphone video footage praising himself for killing one of the miners.

If the criminal justice system functioned properly, and equitably, the police officers would have immediately been removed from their positions, pending investigations. Some of them would ultimately have been criminally prosecuted.

Yet here we are. A few months away from the fifth anniversary of the massacre and not a single police officer has appeared before a court. The best information that the Presidency can give us is a nameless list of the few who are under investigation and might be prosecuted for the cold-blooded murders that have been screened far and wide on the internet, in the documentary Miners Shot Down and during the commission's proceedings. So much for criminal justice for police officers."

  • Read the full op-ed here.

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