LEGAL RESOURCES & REPORTS
Access relevant legislation, jurisprudence and domestic, regional and international reports on protest.
Learn about the use of digital technology within the context of traditional ‘physical’ protests and virtual acts of protest in the digital space itself.
Learn about basic strategies activists can adopt to secure their communications and information sharing arrangements.
Responsible Officer Directory
Access the contact details of the official(s) responsible for facilitating protests in your area.
A Quick Guide to Peaceful Protest
Protest in South Africa is regulated by section 17 of the Constitution and the RGA, which provides that all protests must be peaceful and unarmed.
In order to protest in compliance with the RGA, a Convener (the person chosen to lead the protest) must give a notice of gathering / protest to the Responsible Officer (the person who facilitates the protest) at their local municipality or police station, at least 7 days before the planned protest, but only if more than 15 people are protesting.
In exceptional circumstances, notice can be given at least 48 hours before the planned protest.
After notice has been given, the Convener may be called to a meeting with the Responsible Officer and the police to discuss the logistics of the protest. After the meeting, or if a meeting is not called, the protest can proceed in accordance with the information contained in the notice.
Peaceful and unarmed protest is your constitutional right and it can only be restricted in limited instances.
If no, you do not need to give a notice of gathering and the protest can proceed.
KINETIC IMPACT PROJECTILES
Find Questions and Answers (Q&A) about protests for Protesters, Responsible Officers, and Law Enforcement Officials / Private Security Officers.
‘A security (officer) may not infringe any right of a person as provided for in the Bill of Rights and… may not … enter premises, conduct a search, seize property, arrest, detain, restrain, interrogate, delay, threaten, injure or cause the death of any person, demand information or documentation from any person, or infringe the privacy Read more about What is the role of private security officers during protests?[…]
During the first week of April 2017, the LRC and Witness are hosting a series of four interactive workshops on the “right to record” human rights violations in South Africa. The four workshops – which are open to the public and free of charge – will run from 09h00 to 16h30 on each day and will focus Read more about INVITATION: LRC / Witness Workshop Series in April 2017 on the ‘Right to Record’[…]
The Legal Resources Centre (“LRC“) welcomes the release of the “10 Principles Civil Society Guide: How to Advocate for Better Management of Assemblies” (“Civil Society Guide”) on 13 January 2017 by the UN Special Rapporteurs on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, and the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary Read more about LRC welcomes the UN Civil Society Guide on assemblies[…]
When can I be arrested? A person may be arrested under the following circumstances: If a warrant of arrest has been issued (in which case you are entitled to a copy of the warrant); or If a police officer witnesses a person committing a crime; or If a police officer has probable cause to believe that Read more about What are my rights if I’m arrested or detained?[…]
“During any policing operation, ongoing negotiations must take place between police officers and conveners or other leadership elements of a protest to resolve issues before they escalate (Instruction 13(2) of National Instruction 4 of 2014).” In terms of SAPS National Instruction 4 of 2014, “the use of force by the police must be avoided at all costs and Read more about When can the police use force against protesters?[…]
On Monday, 29 August 2016 during the State of Protest workshop at the Chalsty Centre, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, the LRC launched Protest Info. Protest Info is web-based LRC Project dedicated to enabling peaceful protest in South Africa. Protest Info seeks to gather all the necessary resources to facilitate the right to peaceful protest and it provides Read more about LRC Launches Protest Info[…]
On Tuesday, 30 August 2016, representatives of the Legal Resources Centre attended the Southern African Regional Consultation on drafting the Principles and Operational Standards for the Policing of Assemblies by Law Enforcement Officials in Africa at Burgers Park Hotel, Pretoria. The development of the Guidelines for Policing Assemblies is a partnership between the African Commission on Human and Read more about LRC Attends the Southern African Regional Consultation Meeting on Policing of Assemblies in Africa[…]