SERI is delighted to welcome two new members to the SERI team: Kelebogile Khunou, who joins us as a researcher; and Lerato Makolobane Mashianoke, who joins us as a research intern.

Kelebogile holds a BA (Honours) degree and a Masters by Research degree in Political Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand. Her Masters research was based on domestic workers’ engagement with everyday life, their social networks and the building of their political subjectivities. Kelebogile's interests lie in the discourses on development and community building, gender equality and the role of youth as protagonists of change.

Lerato has a Bachelor of Administration (BAdmin) Degree in International Relations from the University of Pretoria. During her time at the University of Pretoria, she was involved in various mentorship, leadership and community outreach based activities. Prior to joining SERI, Lerato was a participant in the Auwal Socio-Economic Research Institute’s (ASRI) Future Leaders Fellowship Programme. Lerato’s interests are in public administration, socio-economic development, socio-economic rights, local government, and ethics.

 

Marikana housing and land rights activist, Napoleon Webster, was released on bail on Friday, 28 July, after having spent over six months in jail. Webster will brief the press on his detention, the charges against him and concerns about the politicisation of the police and the criminal justice system.

Joining the press conference will be, Lindokuhle Mdabe (attorney at SERI), Nomzamo Zondo (SERI’s director of litigation), and Bishop Johannes Seoka (representative of the survivors of the Marikana massacre). The press conference will take place on Wednesday, 2 August from 12:30 to 14:00 at SERI’s Conference Room on the 6th floor of Aspern House, 54 De Korte Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

  • Read the full media alert on the press conference here

On 28 July 2017, the Durban High Court granted the shackdwellers social movement, Abalhlali baseMjondolo (AbM), an interim interdict against the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality. The interdict restrains the municipality and its land invasion unit from continuing with violent and illegal evictions. In fact, the judgment interdicts the City from demolishing, burning, removing or otherwise destroying and disposing of Abahlali housing structures or threatening to do so. In addition, those whose homes have been destroyed have been given the right to rebuild them.

According to AbM, at least 241 families were unlawfully and often violently made homeless between February and July this year.

Marikana housing and land rights activist, Napoleon Webster, is set to be released on bail on Friday after having spent more than six months in jail. Webster was arrested for his alleged participation in the murder of a local ward councillor. Webster believes the charges are politically motivated because of his community campaigns in Marikana. At the time of his release, he would have spent 202 days in Rustenberg prison.

There is strong evidence that Webster was arrested because of his activism and not on the basis of any reasonable suspicion that he has committed any offence. He is a vocal opponent of the African National Congress (ANC) and is closely associated with Black First Land First and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). He has been active in supporting the victims of the Marikana massacre and was a consistent presence at the proceedings of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry.

On Thursday 27 July, the North West High Court ordered Webster's release on bail pending his trial. SERI represented Webster during the bail proceedings.

solg 2017coverToday the Good Governance Learning Network (GGLN), a network of non-profit organisations that aims to share knowledge and collectively promote accoutable and democratic local governance, publishes its annual publication on the state of local government in South Africa. The current issue, entitled Navigating Accountability and Collaboration in Local Governance, allows member organisations to reflect on the importance of accountability and collaboration as key values that drive the reclaiming of local democratic spaces. SERI has been a long standing member organisation of the network and contributed to the publication.

SERI's contribution, written by SERI researchers Edward Molopi and Tiffany Ebrahim, is entitled "Spatial Justice: Accountability through Collaboration and Confrontation". The chapter reflects on SERI's work to improve social and spatial justice through a combination of confrontational, cooperative and complementary strategies. It discusses different methods of engaging the state in order to advance accountability through the lens of a “4C” (Confrontational, Complementary, Cooperative and Co-opted) model. It then sets out examples of SERI's use of different methods: the Chung Hua Mansions case as an example of a confrontational method; the application of the findings of SERI's Edged Out research report as a complementary method, and SERI’s Submission on the City of Johannesburg’s Special Process for the Relocation of Evictees (SPRE) as a cooperative method. The chapter concludes with some thoughts on lessons learnt, and the implications and risks of these approaches.

  • Download SERI's chapter in the publication here.
  • Download the full publication here.

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