R2K Activist Guide to the Right to Protest


Activist Guide to the Gatherings Act, Arrests and Court Processes.

More than ever, all who live and work in South Africa need to not only know their rights to freedom of assembly/demonstration/picket/petition but be able to exercise them.

The pocket sized publication is intended to inform citizens of their rights and enable them to engage over zealous officials who act outside the law to suppress our freedom of assembly.

The first section of the publication provides basic information about any gatherings that can be seen as a form of protest, contestation or criticism in a public space. Anyone who plans to organize any kind of protest should make sure he or she understands the rules explained here. This section is presented in the form of questions and answers to help you to understand as clearly as possible and explains the legal definition of “gathering” and the legal rights and duties of the organisers.

The second section aims to give activists information on certain rights guaranteed by the South African Constitution, especially the rights of assembly and expression as well as the rights of arrested or accused persons. It also explains the limitations government can put on these guarantees and how to act during a possible arrest. Further, it gives a basic explanation of court processes that may follow an arrest and what to do in that situation. gatheringsGuide_WEB.pdf