fxi logo1On Human Rights day, South Africa remembers the Sharpeville massacre which took place on the 21st of March 1960 when demonstrators were gunned down by police.  As we commemorate this day in history, we can take pride in that the right to freedom of expression is now entrenched in the South African Constitution as a facilitative right upon which other fundamental rights are based, including the right to protest. However, more than 50 years after the devastating events in Sharpeville and the attainment of freedom in South Africa, the need for the protection of the right to protest is ever present. Despite the significant progress made within the free South Africa, we now see a trend of growing intolerance towards individuals and groups who share divergent views from those in power. Most recently, we have seen the flagrant disregard of the right to protest in the murder of Andries Tatane in Ficksburg (2011), the undeclared State of Emergency in Rustenburg following the Marikana shooting in 2012 and other unreported incidence clamping down on dissent in communities all over South Africa. Continue reading