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.
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."
On 28 February 2013, SERI's executive director Stuart Wilson was featured on the ProBono Law show on Radio Today, hosted by Patrick Bracher. Stuart spoke about some latest developments in housing rights in South Africa, outlining some of the current cases in which SERI is involved.
SERI represents 33 former residents of Saratoga Avenue, who were moved to the Ekuthuleni Shelter in May 2012 by the City of Johannesburg (the City) as part of the Blue Moonlight Constitutional Court judgment, in an application to challenge conditions at the shelter.
In Part A of the application the residents request the High Court to suspend the application of certain shelter rules and direct the City and Metro Evangelical Services (who run the shelter) to permit the residents to reside in rooms with their spouses/life partners. The application was launched on 18 October 2012; however despite repeated demand the City and MES have not filed an answering affidavit. They appear to be embarked upon a strategy of prevarication and delay, presumably in the hope that the residents will simply tire of the conditions imposed on them and leave the shelter. On 15 February2013, heads of argument were filed in Part A of the application. This case raises fundamental issues concerning the connection between socio-economic rights and the rights to dignity, privacy and freedom and security of the person.