Two of SERI's inner city housing cases will come before the Constitutional Court in early February 2017.
In Kiribilly, the Court’s decision will confirm the specific duties placed on judges when they hear eviction applications, particularly when the people being evicted are not represented by lawyers. The matter will be heard on 14 February 2017.
In Dladla, the Court will decide whether or not it is reasonable to limit the rights of evictees in circumstances where the state has provided them with temporary shelter. The matter will be heard on 16 February 2017.
The Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) and the Centree for Child Law have been admitted as amici in the Dladla matter, which will be heard in the Constitutional Court on 16 February 2017.
The matter concerns the constitutionality of house rules in alternative accommodation provided by the City of Johannesburg to evictees. SERI will argue that the house rules fundamentally undermine the residents' rights to dignity, privacy and freedom and security of the person.
On 30 November 2016 the North Gauteng High Court dismissed an application by General Alfred Moyo and the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) which sought to have section 1(1)(b) of the Intimidation Act declared unconstitutional.
This emanates from a criminal charge laid against Moyo following attempts by him and other residents of the Makause informal settlement to hold a march against police brutality in Primrose, Germiston in 2012. He has been charged with “intimidating” the Station Commander of the Primrose Police Station in Germiston, in terms the Intimidation Act. The application argues that the breadth of the interference with section 16 of the Constitution that section 1(1)(b) creates cannot be justified in terms of the limitation clause in section 36 of the Constitution.
The application was dismissed on 30 November 2016, and the court refused to declare section 1(1)(b) inconsistent with section 36 of the Constitution. No reasons for the court's decision were given, however. SERI his applied for leave to appeal.
University fees will rise again in 2017. Thulani Nkosi and Tim Fish Hodgson have written a blog for the Huffington Post, drawing from the experiences of SERI clients in Tlale. They outline some of the lessons we might learn from the #FeesMustFall2016 protests, and the difficult learning conditions on campuses which resulted from them, suggesting that "Wits, and other Universities across the country must get better at planning for #FeesMustFall protests, responding proportionately to them, and engaging compassionately with those caught in the cross-fire when the police and private security are called in."
More than four years after the massacre of 36 striking miners at Marikana in the North West Province, President Jacob Zuma has released a statement which suggests that justice may finally be realised in the form of criminal charges against responsible police officers, and compensation for the families of the deceased workers and those workers injured and arrested at Marikana.
SERI's Nomzamo Zondo has said that the families will "be very relieved that there will be some movement on criminal prosecutions,” and that if government is now willing to pay, effectively taking responsibility for the actions of the police, the next step should be to say when and where it will apologise for what happened.