D.S.K. Culhane


This article will examine the direct and indirect regulation of political speech in a chronological manner, concluding with the statutory and regulatory environment under State President Frederik W. de Klerk, the Interim Constitution and the events leading up to the watershed April elections. The direct regulation of political speech in post-1948 South Africa has been effected primarily through the Suppression of Communism Act and its successor, the Internal Security Act of 1982, the Publications and Entertainments Act and its successor, the Publications Act, a series of miscellaneous legislation imposing various substantive restrictions on private and public speech, and finally, executive emergency regulations promulgated pursuant to the Public Safety Act. These statutes imposed strict limitations on the dissemination of information and opinion. They are addressed, in turn, in Section I of this article.