The Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) Law Clinic wishes to fill up to two vacancies for candidate attorneys (CAs).
These vacancies will arise on or after 1 January 2023.
The requirements for the positions are as follows –
SERI wishes to contribute to the development of a new generation of human rights lawyers at the national and international level. Accordingly, the positions carry with them significant opportunities for travel and continuing professional training and development. The successful candidate will also join the Bertha Justice Fellowship Programme. You can learn more about that programme on http://berthafoundation.org/lawyers
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 Wednesday 30 June 2022. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted, and will be expected to make themselves available for interview in July or August 2022.
On the evening of 5 May 2022, Abahlali baseMjondolo’s Nokuthula Mabaso was shot and killed in the eKhenana informal settlement in Cato Manor, Durban. According to Abahlali baseMjondolo, Mabaso was on her way home from a meeting when she was shot five times in front of her children. Earlier this year, in March 2022, she was witness to the killing of Ayanda Ngila. Since 2018, Abahlali baseMjondolo has lost at least seven of its members in eKhenana to targeted assassinations.
As part of the ongoing repression that has intensified in eKhenana in the last year, Nokuthula Mabaso was one of the three women arrested in October 2021. They were denied bail and held in custody for approximately two weeks. As part of the bail conditions, Mabaso was barred from returning to her home in eKhenana. According to Abahlali baseMjondolo, at the time of her death, Mabaso was playing an important role in supporting cases related to the ongoing repression experienced in eKhenana including the various arrests made on trumped‑up charges, recent attacks on the settlement, as well as Ayanda Ngila’s assassination.
Nokuthula Mabaso is remembered as a strong and resolute leader in Abahlali baseMjondolo’s Women’s League and in eKhenana informal settlement in Cato Manor. She has played a central role in defending the occupation against evictions and sustaining the commune’s various operations.
SERI is devastated by this brutal attack and sends its condolences to Nokuthula Mabaso’s loved ones and to Abahlali baseMjondolo. SERI condemns the killings of Mabaso, Ngila and other activists and echoes repeated demands for justice and accountability for the violence and harassment that the eKhenana community and the broader Abahlali baseMjondolo movement have suffered, particularly over the past year.
We repeat our calls for the leadership of the South African Police Services, the National Prosecuting Authority and the South African Human Rights Commission to urgently look into the longstanding issue of political violence in KwaZulu-Natal and in particular, the repression of community activists.
On 24 March 2022, the Anti-Repression Collective (ARC) hosted a webinar panel discussion entitled "State of Disaster: Past realities and future trajectories". The aim of the webinar was to reflect on the lessons that South Africa could learn from its National State of Disaster and to discuss what could be expected when it would eventually be lifted. SERI’s Khululiwe Bhengu participated in the discussion as a panelist alongside Tim Fish Hodgson, legal advisor at the International Commission of Jurists, and Prof. Shabir Madhi, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Professor of Vaccinology at the University of the Witwatersrand. SERI's Thato Masiangoako facilitated the discussion.
Khululiwe discussed some of the work that SERI did during the lockdown with informal traders, waste reclaimers and informal settlement residents. She argued that the overwhelming impact of the hard lockdown on poor communities was that many people lost their ability to earn a living and unfortunately, many of the regulations were impractical and difficult to abide by under socio-economic conditions that worsened under the lockdown.
She argued that a lot of people lost their jobs and could not afford rent anymore were pushed out of South Africa’s economic hubs and pushed many further into poverty and away from the city centres. When discussing the moratorium on evictions and how many metros continued to unlawfully evict people despite the moratorium, Khululiwe expressed her concern about an increase in evictions sought once the moratorium on evictions was lifted when the State of Disaster is brought to an end.
On 1 March, SERI's director of litigation, Advocate Jason Brickhill participated in a panel discussion on 'Lawfare: The role of the courts in upholding democracy'. The panel discussion formed part of the 'Democracy and Constitutionalism: Lecture Series' hosted by Section27 and the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution. Jason spoke alongside panelists Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi SC & Advocate Michelle le Roux SC.
In his inputs, Jason discussed the concept of lawfare and how the term's prevalent use encourages an analysis of the law in South Africa that focuses on and draws conclusions from a single outcome of a court case, without adequately assessing the broader constitutional implications and enduring constitutional principles. He argued for the need for socio-legal studies to look beyond the case and to analyse the legal, material and political impact of judgments in an effort to build a longer-term view and focus on building enduring constitutional principles and constitutional institutions.
KwaZulu-Natal has been ravaged by heavy rains and flooding over the past few days. The floods have been declared a provincial disaster by the National Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA). Over 300 lives have been lost to date and many more people have been displaced. As with crises of this magnitude, the poorest and most vulnerable suffer the most. Residents in dozens of informal settlements have seen their homes and belongings washed away.
Abahlali baseMjondolo has appealed for urgent relief in the form of food, clothing, school uniforms, building materials and blankets. In response, the following civil society organisations have started a drive to collect these essentials: the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA), the Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA), Iranti-Org, Just Associates (JASS), Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR), 1in9 Campaign, One Voice Of All Hawkers Association (OVOAHA), Oxfam, Passover Community Building Organisation (PCBO) and the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa SERI.
We appeal to all those who are able to make donations to join us in this drive. Our goal is to provide an inclusive response to assist those affected by the floods as they work to recover from this disaster.
SERI’s offices, between 11:00 and 14:00.
6th floor Aspern House, 54 De Korte Street, Braamfontein, 2001.
Contact: Sanele Garane, 072 238 4890.
Passover Community Building Organisation, between 09:00 and 17:00.
592 Masopha Street, Bekkeresdal Location, Westonaria, 1779.
Contact: Esther Meletse, 072 952 1937.
Download the statement here.