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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

1954. Riotous Assemblies & Criminal Laws Amendment Act No 15

Dyzenhaus (1991) refers to this as the RIOTOUS ASSEMBLIES & SUPPRESSION OF COMMUNISM ACT.

It "introduced the novel feature of lashes for political crimes compare [ d] to the previous policy of banishment and marked a significant intensification of direct state repression against the democratic opposition" (Rich 1996: 168).

Section 9 of the earlier SUPPRESSION OF COMMUNISM ACT of 1950 had made provisions for the minister to issue bans on people to prohibit them from contacts with various organizations and attending gatherings of various sorts, if in his opinion "there was 'reason to believe that the achievement of any of the objects of communism would be furthered' " (Dyzenhaus 1991: 122). Since the law had been applied without the accusee being able to respond to the charges, the South African courts invalidated this section. In order to overcome this judicial 'problem' (see Dyzenhaus 1991: 122f), the original law of 1950 was in need of an amendment. See also the NATIVE ADMINISTRATION AMENDMENT ACT of 1956 for a similar chain of events.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.