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 MoonlightConstitutional 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.
Jackie Dugard of SERI and Kathleen Hardy of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) published an op-ed in the Daily Maverick entitled "Ekuthuleni: 'Place of peace' by name but a shelter it is not".
SERI's executive director, Jackie Dugard, has stepped down after three very successful years leading the organisation. Jackie hopes to pursue an academic career in 2013, but will continue to sit on SERI's board and will take up a role mentoring SERI's young researchers and developing SERI's international profile. Stuart Wilson, SERI's director of litigation, has been appointed by the Board of Directors as Jackie's replacement as executive director, effective from 10 December 2012. SERI attorney, Teboho Mosikili, has been appointed as director of litigation from the same date.