About this site

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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

1955. Customs Act No 55

According to this, "[i]mported publications might be prohibited by the customs authorities ... where they were considered to be 'indecent or obscene or on any ground whatsoever objectionable' with the final say vested in the Minister of the Interior. Books published within South Africa were subject to a number of national and provincial enactments which brought the sanction of the criminal law to bear upon the distribution and display of obscene works. Little attempt was made to suppress locally produced publications, as this involved judicial proceedings. The same could not, however, be said of foreign publications which were ruthlessly banned under the customs law" (Dugard 1978: 193).

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.