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[LITIGATION UPDATE] Application against Operation Dudula (24 May 2023).

Today, 24 May 2023, SERI and its clients are publicly launching their case to hold xenophobic and racist speech and conduct to account by way of a media briefing in Johannesburg.

This follows SERI’s launch, on Tuesday 16 May 2023, of an application in the Johannesburg High Court on behalf of Kopanang Africa Against Xenophobia (KAAX), the South African Informal Traders Forum (SAITF), the Inner City Federation (ICF) and Abahlali BaseMjondolo to seek relief against Operation Dudula and certain of its office-bearers in respect of ongoing xenophobic and racist speech and conduct, and against the relevant organs of state for failing to discharge their duties in relation to Operation Dudula’s unlawful conduct.

The applicants seek an order prohibiting Operation Dudula from various actions, including intimidating and harassing people, demanding to check identity documents, forcing businesses to close or preventing informal traders from operating, evicting people from their homes without a court order, wearing uniforms that resemble those of the police or army, denying people access to healthcare, and removing students and teachers from schools because of their nationality.

Because of the threats and acts of violence by Operation Dudula members against members of the public, the applicants seek an initial special order protecting the identities of the approximately 40 individuals who have given personal affidavit evidence of Operation Dudula’s unlawful conduct. In the court papers, their names will not be disclosed to the public.

The applicants also seek orders against relevant organs of state. These include orders requiring Government to implement fully its plan relating to racism and xenophobia, interdicting the South African Police Service and the Department of Home Affairs from colluding with Operation Dudula or conducting dragnet raids targeting whole communities at Operation Dudula’s instigation, and requiring the SAPS to investigate the crimes committed by Operation Dudula.

  • Access the redacted founding affidavit here.