Between 31 July and 4 August 2017, SERI appeared in the Durban High Court on behalf of Nkosinathi Mngomezulu, a resident of Cato Crest informal settlement in Durban, in a damages claim against the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality and the Minister of Safety and Security. Mngomezulu is claiming damages for the physical injuries he sustained when a security officer in the municipality's land invasion unit shot him in the stomach four times, as well as for his unlawful attest and detention on charges of assault and attempted murder. 

On 21 September 2013, the municipality's land invasion unit illegally demolished Mngomezulu and various other Cato Crest residents' shacks, in violation of a series of court orders handed down in the preceding months that restrained the municipality from evicting any person or demolishing any shack at Cato Crest informal settlement (see the Mzimela case). While physically resisting this demolition, Mngomezulu was shot four times by a security officer in the municipality's land invasion unit. Then, after recovering for more than three months in hospital, Mngomezulu was arrested and detained initially on charges of assault and later on charges of atttempted murder. It is on the basis of this unlawful attack and the subsequent unlawful arrest and detention that Mngomezulu, assisted by Abahlali baseMjondolo, claims damages.

The five-day trial concluded on 4 August, with Judge Pillay reserving judgment. At the trail, Mngomezulu was represented by advocates Anne Marie de Vos SC, Stuart Wilson and Irene de Vos.

  • Read more about the case here.