Freedom of Expression

SALC’s Freedom of Expression work is integrated within its other programmatic areas and focuses on the following objectives:

  • To deepen the understanding of and litigate on freedom of expression, association and assembly and access to information issues that affect various SALC focus areas.
  • To conduct advocacy and litigation around the decriminalisation of expression, with a focus on challenging criminal defamation, sedition, and terrorism legislation which infringes on freedom of expression.
  • To support litigation which challenges infringements of the right form associations and to protest.
  • To support the criminal defence of journalists and human rights defenders who are persecuted for their views.


On-going cases:

Swaziland: Case challenging the constitutionality of the Sedition and Subversive Activities Act.
Swaziland: Case challenging the constitutionality of the Suppression of Terrorism Act.
Lesotho: Case challenging the offence of criminal defamation.
Botswana: Case challenging refusal to provide access to information. Updates coming soon.
Botswana: Amicus curiae application of MISA Botswana to challenge a provision in corruption legislation which criminalises publication of information. Updates coming soon.
Zimbabwe: Case challenging the refusal to allow sex workers to march. Updates coming soon.

Precedent cases:

Zimbabwe: Support amicus curiae in case confirming that criminal defamation no longer an offence in Zimbabwe.
Botswana: Case challenging the refusal to register an LGBT organisation.
Swaziland: Supporting lawyer and editor charged with contempt of court.
Zambia: Support activist’s right to freedom of expression.


23 May 2018 Tashwill Esterhuizen
Botswana: Challenging Criminalisation of Same-sex Sexual Relationships...

In September 2016, a gay man, filed an application challenging the constitutionality of sections 164(a), 164(c) and 165 of the Botswana Penal Code. These provisions criminalise same-sex sexual acts between consenting persons. The man seeks an order that the continued…

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22 May 2018 Anneke Meerkotter
News Release: Lesotho Court declares offence of criminal defamation invalid...

Maseru, Lesotho – On Monday 21 May 2018, the Lesotho High Court (sitting as a Constitutional Court), in a unanimous judgment declared the offence of criminal defamation unconstitutional with retrospective effect. The case of Basildon Peta v Minister of Law,…

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21 May 2018 Staff Writer
Lesotho: Challenging the offence of criminal defamation...

SALC supported a case challenging the constitutionality of the offence of criminal defamation. On 6 July 2016, Basildon Peta was charged with the crime of defamation in contravention of section 104 of the Penal Code Act. The charges related to…

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02 May 2018 Staff Writer

On 3 May, every year, the world celebrates the International World Press Freedom Day. The occasion is regarded as an opportunity to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom, assess the state of press freedom, defend the media from attacks…

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28 Apr 2018 Staff Writer

The Citizen The government is also considering ways to allow its expats to vote in elections. African News Agency reports that formerly exiled Zimbabweans have been returning home in droves since the ousting of former president Robert Mugabe. Zimbabwean President…

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13 Apr 2018 Staff Writer

Veritas v. Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission & Others SALC is providing support to Veritas, a non-profit organisation based in Zimbabwe which provides publicly accessible information on the work of the Parliament of Zimbabwe and the laws of Zimbabwe.…

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