Protest at post-election event disrupted

Peaceful Assembly

On 6th August, 4 young women silently protested in front of President Jacob Zuma as he addressed the country at the end of the local government elections. The 4 activists used #RememberKwezi to highlight their protest against the rape culture in South Africa. Kwezi (not her real name) was a woman who was allegedly raped by President Jacob Zuma in 2006. Zuma was later acquitted following a trial. Video footage shows the women being manhandled by police and their posters taken away. Their actions were also later vilified by officials in the ruling African National Congress (ANC), including the president of the ANC Women's League.

On 22nd June, it was reported that police kicked journalists in Ga-rankuwa in Pretoria as they covered and photographed polices firing rubber bullets at protesters. Journalists Jeff Wicks and Karabo Ngoepe were forced by the police to delete photographs that they had taken of the police firing the bullets. The police also threatened to "deal with" the journalists.

Expression

There was a public outcry when the country's public broadcaster SABC announced in May that it would not show footage of violent protests. Whilst the SABC argued that the move was intended to help curb violent protests, civil society and opposition political parties viewed this as censorship. The development led to several law suits by civil society organisations including the Helen Suzman Foundation. Eight SABC employees were fired for protesting against this decision and only reinstated following the intervention of the Labour Court. A senior employee also resigned due to his disagreement with the ban.