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. Updates coming soon.
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.


09 Oct 2017 Staff Writer
Media Advisory: Botswana High Court to Hear Case on Publication of Information R...

Gaborone, Botswana – On Tuesday, the Lobatse High Court will hear a case where the Attorney General seeks to interdict the Sunday Standard from publishing information relating to investigations by the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crimes. The case concerns…

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06 Oct 2017 Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh
2015-2017 BIENNIAL REPORT...

SALC envisions a region in which domestic and regional courts are strong, independent, and fully functional and in which they uphold and enforce the rule of law and human rights. To that end, SALC works with domestic lawyers in each…

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03 Mar 2017 Staff Writer
Decriminalising defamation in Africa...

Last month a High Court in Kenya declared the offence of criminal defamation inconsistent with that country’s Constitution and therefore invalid. At a time when the space for free expression seems to be shrinking and threats to the media around…

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24 Jan 2017 Staff Writer
Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals: Perspectives from judges and lawye...

Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) seeks to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”. During 2016, the Southern Africa Litigation Centre,…

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28 Sep 2016 Staff Writer
Swaziland: Challenging the Suppression of Terrorism and Subversive Activities Ac...

  Mario Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini were arrested on 1 May 2014 after participating in a May Day gathering in Manzini. Masuku spoke at the gathering and Dlamini participated in the singing of songs, and both used the gathering to…

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24 Sep 2016 Staff Writer
The LEGABIBO case: A victory for the right to freedom of association...

  In March 2016, the Botswana Court of Appeal ruled that the government's refusal to register an LGBT organisation unconstitutional. This ground-breaking case created important precedent on the right to freedom of association, and the right of LGBT persons to…

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