CSOS condemn recent threats by govt officials, call for accountability
4 August 2022
Dear Mr President,
The ongoing attacks on civil society organisations by government officials are concerning and must receive urgent attention. These attacks are unacceptable, go against our country’s Constitution, and undermine our democracy.
This week, the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) announced that they are temporarily closing their offices after Councillor Nkululeko Mbundu, MMC for Economic Development in the City of Johannesburg, used his political and social media platforms to criticise the organisation and spread false accusations about SERI and their clients, the South African Informal Traders Forum (SAITF). This resulted in a spate of attacks against SERI. Pictures of their staff were circulated with their cellphone numbers, and SERI received threats to burn down their offices, and kill lawyers who represent SAITF. This is a gross violation of their rights to safety and security.
This is not the first time a civil society organisation in South Africa has found itself under attack by a government official.