On 10 April 2013 SERI will be in court for two important cases: Hlophe (Chung Hua) and Dladla (Ekuthuleni shelter). In the Hlophe enforcement application, SERI seeks an order declaring that the Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, the City Manager and the Director of Housing are responsible for taking all the necessary steps to see to it that the City complies with an order to provide alternative accommodation to the occupiers of Chung Hua Mansions facing eviction and homelessness, failing which SERI will be able apply to have the three office-bearers committed for contempt.

In the Dladla case, SERI represents the former residents of Saratoga Avenue, who were moved to the Ekuthuleni shelter in May 2012 by the City of Johannesburg as part of the Blue Moonlight Constitutional Court judgment. The conditions at the Ekuthuleni shelter are extremely draconian: people are locked out of the shelter during the day in order to stop them "avoiding work"; spouses and life-partners have been separated from each other and placed in gender-differentiated dormitories; and a child who moved to the shelter has been separated from her grandmother - her only guardian - and placed in a children's home. In this application, SERI seek an interim interdict to suspend the daytime lock-out rule, and compel the shelter to allow spouses and life-partners to live together.

  • Read more on the Hlophe (Chung Hua) case here.
  • Read more on the Dladla (Ekuthuleni shelter) case here.

The Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA) has appointed SERI's executive director Stuart Wilson to observe the criminal proceedings brought against Zimbabwean human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa. On 3 April 2013, Stuart attended her appearance in the Harare Magistrates’ Court and he will be providing a full report to the CLA.

  • Read the CLA press release here.

SERI (in collaboration with the Good Governance Learning Network) hosted a roundtable discussion on 3 April 2013 in Johannesburg. The roundtable discussion provided an opportunity for SERI to present the findings of a research report entitled "'Jumping the Queue', Waiting Lists and other Myths: Perceptions and Practice around Housing Demand and Allocation in South Africa". This report was written together with the Community Law Centre (CLC), based at the University of the Western Cape, and will be published in April 2013.

The SERI Law Clinic has been instructed to release a statement on behalf of the families of the striking miners killed by the police on 16 August 2012. The families do not accept National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega’s “condolences”, offered before the Marikana Commission of Inquiry on 14 March 2013. They demand a full-throated apology from Commissioner Phiyega and an acknowledgement of responsibility for having killed their family members.

  • Read the press statement (15 March 2013) here and more on SERI's involvement at the Marikana Commission here.

SERI researchers Michael Clark and Jackie Dugard published an op-ed in the Business Day entitled "State suppression of popular dissent should concern us all".The op-ed argues that "instead of recognising our failures and encouraging participation at the formal and informal levels, the government appears to be going all out to clamp down on protests and suppress growing popular dissent. This is a very worrying trend that should concern us all."

  • Read the op-ed here.

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