ZIMBABWE Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) stands in solidarity with Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) and condemns the reckless and utter disdain with which Councillor Nkululeko Mbundu, the City of Johannesburg’s Member of the Mayoral Committee on Economic Development has treated SERI.
ZLHR is perturbed by Councillor Mbundu’s blatant disregard and violation of court orders after he endangered the lives of SERI staff members and baiting xenophobic elements in South African communities to target members of the South African Informal Traders Forum (SAITF), who are clients of SERI.
SAITF recently obtained a court order from the Gauteng Local Division of the High Court which ordered the City of Johannesburg to reverse the illegal eviction of information traders from the De Villiers trading precinct.
ZLHR is disheartened to note that SERI, a not for profit human rights organisation, which has been involved in public interest litigation for several years to protect the rights of informal traders, has been forced to temporarily close its offices following threats to members of its staff.
ZLHR extends its solid support to SERI, a partner in areas of mutual interest – public interest litigation. SERI has worked tirelessly to foster a culture of human rights in Zimbabwe, South Africa and the entire SADC region.
We call upon South African authorities to ensure the protection and safety of SERI and SAITF members.
Councillor Mbundu should immediately retract his inciteful, reckless and false statements about SERI and SAITF and should desist from making irresponsible statements that have the effect of triggering xenophobic attacks against foreign nationals living in South Africa.
ZLHR implores and reminds the South African government that it has a mandate to ensure the safety and security of all people domiciled in its country’s borders and that it should commit itself to provide a permanent and lasting solution to end xenophobia and protect foreign nationals under international law.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
No. 103 Sam Nujoma Street, Harare, Zimbabwe
Phone: (+263 8677005347, +263 242 764085/705370/708118
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