UKZN Law students and staff provided free legal advice to poor and marginalised people in Craigieburn near Umkomaas and at Ohlange in Inanda on Mandela Day.
Led by the Director of the UKZN Howard College Campus Law Clinic, Dr Dave Holness and Professor David McQuoid-Mason of the Street Law Plus Project at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Law teams gave free legal advice and conducted legal awareness sessions.
Teams consisted of two candidate attorneys from the Law Clinic, Ms Nomfundo Buthelezi and Ms Cassandra Holdcroft; an intern from the Legal Resources Centre, Mr Gift Luthuli; UKZN Street Law students, Ms Zusiphe Noko, Ms Kerisha Naicker, Ms Wenzile Dongo, Ms Tashnia Moodley and Ms Sibongile Banda; and South Coast attorney, Ms Sindi Hlatswayo, a former candidate attorney at the Law Clinic who arranged the programme.
About 50 people in Craigieburn and Ohlange who needed guidance were assisted by the teams.
Legal assistance relating to the following allegations were covered on the day: challenges with transferring ownership of homes from deceased estates; protection order violations; a murder cover-up; forged signature on a falsely amended divorce court order; a lost identity document being reissued falsely indicating that a local woman was married to a Pakistani migrant; assistance with drawing up a will; and an encroachment on a purchased property where the boundary peg had been removed.
The Ohlange team went to the house of Mr Thami Shandu, a community activist who lives in the area. The team was led by Supervising Attorney at the Campus Law Clinic, Mr Rishen Buden Singh, who supervised former candidate attorney, Mr Marc Larkin of Street Law Plus, and a current candidate attorney, Mr Andile Cele.
They assisted nine people who had issues relating to immovable property.
The sale of homes and payment of rentals – often against the law as well as illegal occupations of Reconstruction and Development Programme houses are common issues raised at outreach events and are symptomatic of the desperation of many South Africans for their own homes and permanent shelter.
A highlight of the day was a visit by Cele to the home of an elderly woman who was unable to attend the event but needed help to draft her will.