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.


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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06 Apr 2018 Staff Writer
Statement from the Southern African Human Rights Defenders Network on the passin...

Please find a statement on the passing of Mama Winnie Mandela from the Southern African Human Rights Defenders Network. SALC is a member of the SAHRDN.

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03 Apr 2018 Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh
Civil society deeply concerned about attack on Mozambican human rights defender ...

It is with sadness that the undersigned civil society organisations express deep concern about the attack on Mozambique human rights defender, Ericino de Salema, which took place in Maputo on 27th March 2018. Mr. Salema, a journalist, a rights activist…

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19 Feb 2018 Staff Writer

Maseru, Lesotho – On Monday 19 February 2018, the Lesotho Constitutional Court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of the offence of criminal defamation. The case is brought by Basildon Peta, who was charged with the offence of criminal defamation…

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13 Feb 2018 Staff Writer
Lesotho: Challenging the offence of criminal defamation...

SALC is supporting 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…

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18 Jan 2018 Staff Writer

Shumba & Others v Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs & Others SALC is supporting three members of the Zimbabwe Diaspora, represented by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, who are challenging the provisions of the Electoral Act which prohibit…

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