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FXI Work
The Freedom of Expression Institute works in the following programme areas: Freedom of Expression Anti-Censorship Access to Information Access to Media and ICTs To this end, the FXI engages in a wide range of activities that advance the righ...

Our Partners
The FXI has coalitions with local and international organisations including the Right2Know campaign, SOS: Support Public Broadcasting Coalition, Right To Protest project, IFEX and the African Freedom of Expression Exchange. 

Annual Reports
The FXI maintains its accountability to the public through annual reports which capture the activities of the Institute, the outcomes, lessons learned and other issues relevant for programme and organisational development from January to December of ...

Resource Centre
The FXI has an extensive archive of ground-breaking resources that have had a positive impact on freedom of expression and media policy studies and intervention in the country. Law Clinic Cases Policy Submissions Handbooks Research Training

Resources - Policy Submissions
FXI contributes towards the building of a body of knowledge that raises broad public awareness on the right to freedom of expression. The FXI has assisted in developing the legal and policy provisions enabling the exercise of free expression by ...

Resources - Handbooks
The FXI has created an extensive archive of ground-breaking resources that have had a positive impact on media policy studies and intervention in the country.

Resources - Research
FXI research contributes towards the building of a body of knowledge that raises broad public awareness on the right to freedom of expression. The capacity to lobby effectively is backed up by quality research. Past research work has been critical to...

Resources - Training
Through civic education and capacity-building, FXI contributes towards an understanding of the rights and responsibilities related to freedom of expression and access to information. Civic education is vital to the promotion of free expression and ac...

Privacy Policy
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We are always grateful to receive new supporters and would be delighted to hear from you. If you would like to support us or learn more about our work please contact our team on +27 11 482 1913 or email  Make a donation to...

"Freedom of expression is never won; it is always a partial victory because there is always someone somewhere trying to censor, prevent information and maintain power." - Raymond Louw (January 1994).

Access to Information
"At the heart of the conflict in South Africa lies power; and information confers power, control over information is related to control over people's lives." - Professor Mbulelo Mzamane (27 January 1994).

Access To Media & ICT
The FXI is committed to advancing freedom of the media to ensure a diversity of media and promoting the right of all people to communicate. Media freedom is an essential tool in the advancement of open, accountable and transparent institutions. Media...


Copyright Amendment Bill - comments due Friday 30 June 2017!
Parliament has released the 2017 Copyright Amendment Bill for public comment.  The Global Expert Network on Copyright User Rights –  has partnered with the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) in South Africa to facilitate stake...

Enzenzeleni community members arrested over water protests
The community of Enzenzeleni, Warden in the Free State is angered by empty promises from the provincial premier, Mr Ace Magashule. The community and members of the Freedom of Expression Network expressed their grievances and demands concerning poor s...

Butale defends Zapiro's comic featuring Hindu deity Ganesha
eNCA speaks to Phenyo Butale, former Executive Director of the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI). Butale defends Zapiro's comic featuring Hindu deity Ganesha, saying the public should focus on the discussion, not the vehicle.

FXI on the Freedom of Expression environment in South Africa
The Freedom of Expression Institute outlines the various laws that curtail freedom of expression in South Africa today at the Community Media Reflection Conference. These laws include the Publications Amendment Act which obligates journaist to report...

Our Partners

SOS: Support Public Broadcasting Coalition
The FXI is a founding member of the SOS: Support Public Broadcasting Coalition, which was conceived to advocate for enhanced quality of service from the SABC. This was in response to increasing threats to the public broadcaster's independence....


Freedom of Expression and artistic expression
Lately, South Africans have been questioning the role of artistic expresson in society, debating the role of art that is seen as provocative. Join Professor Andries Oliphant, a Friend of the FXI, in discussing these reactions and debates. Professor O...

Public Policy Dialogues in Mpumalanga
On the 10th and11th of July, 2013, the Freedom of Expression Institute hosted a series of events in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga under the theme “Promoting free expression and information access for accountable governance”. These events included...

Public Policy Dialogues In Mpumalanga.
On the 10th and 11th of July, 2013, the Freedom of Expression Institute hosted a series of events in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga under the theme “Promoting free expression and information access for accountable governance”. These events include...

The media under siege
On the 1st September 2016 Freedom of Expression Institute hosted a public discussion on the media freedom of violation in Turkey and differentiate them with media freedom in South Africa. 


Afriforum and Julius Malema
Julius Malema, who at the time was the President of the African National Congress Youth League, led the singing/chanting of a former ANC "struggle song" entitled "Dubul'ibhunu" at various public events. Though there was some controversy as to the son...

Broadcasting Independence Handbook: Lessons from the South African experience
This handbook was published with a companion CD which contains close to 500 documents related to the battle to transform the former state broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, into a public broadcaster and the fight for the establi...

Copyright Amendment Bill : FXI supports Fair Use
Open/View PDF (FXI-Copyright-Amendment-Bill-Submission-07July2017.pdf)

Democratic Alliance and SABC
In November 2011 Mr Motsoeneng was appointed as the acting COO of the SABC. Between 11 November 2011 and 26 February 2012, a series of complaints were lodged by former employees of the SABC which focussed on the alleged irregular appointment and cond...

Freedom Front and SA Human Rights Commission & another [2003] JOL 11698 (SAHRC)
Complaint that Broadcasters flighting a news report disclosing the identity and name of a minor, as well as his HIV/Aids status, without masking the minor's face or digitally fragmenting his image, amounts to a contravention of Clause 38 of the Broad...

Freedom of Expression Institute - Position Paper on Hate Speech
Open/View PDF (FXIPosition_HateSpeech.pdf)

Freedom of Expression Institute Presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry Copyright Amendment Bill 03 August 2017
Open/View PDF (FXI-Copyright-Amendment-Bill-Presentation-03-August-2017-(002).pdf)

FXI Comments Draft White Paper on the Police
Open/View PDF (FXI-Comments-Draft-White-Paper-on-the-Police.pdf)

Open/View PDF (FXI-Submission-Copyright-Amendment-Bill-2015.pdf)

Open/View PDF (FXI-Submission-FPB-Online-Regulation-Policy.pdf)

HG Travelling Services CC and Impact News
Impact News had written a publication in October 2016. He then received a letter form one of the individuals mentioned in the letter requesting he issue a retraction. Impact news acknowledged incorrect procedures and agreed to rewrite the story with ...

Independent Newspapers and Minister of Intelligence Services
The Independent Newspaper (Pty) Ltd. sought disclosure of procedural records in the Masetlha v. President of the Republic of South Africa matter. The newspaper attempted to join the Masetlha matter in order to gain access to written arguments filed b...

Johncom Media Investment Ltd. v. M (CCT 08/08) [2009] ZACC 5 (17 Mar. 2009)
This case addressed the constitutional validity of section 12 of the Divorce Act of 1979 (hereinafter, "the Act"), which related to the "publication of information that comes to light during a divorce action." The application was initiated by the own...

Laugh it Off and SAB
This appeal stems from SAB claiming that Laugh It Off had infringed their trademark and more particularly dilution of trademark through tarnishment. Laugh it Off had created T shirts that had a similar mark to those of SAB's brands, however the marks...

Masetlha v. President of the Republic of South Africa
The President unilaterally removed Mr. Masetlha, the former Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), was removed from this position, sparking a constitutional challenge to such unilateral removal. The majority of the Constituti...

Mazibuko and City of Joburg
In this case, the applicants consisted of residents of Phiri, Soweto, who challenged the City of Johannesburg's policy of supplying six kilolitres of water per month for free. They argued that this policy violated section 27 of the Constitution, prot...

National Action Plan Submission to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance
Open/View PDF (FXI-Submission_National-Action-Plan_31082016.pdf)

NGO shadow report submissions
Open/View PDF (NGO-Shadow-report-submissions.pdf)

NM/Others and Smith /Others (Freedom of Expression Institute as Amicus Curiae) 2007 (7) BCLR 751 (CC)
Three HIV-positive women brought suit against respondents for printing their names in a biography about Mrs. de Lille without proper consent. Applicants' names were published in a report (the "Strauss report"), which was circulated to a number of ind...

Out in Africa: South African Gay and Lesbian Film Festival v. Film and Publication Board (Jan. 2009)
The Out in African: South African Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (hereinafter, the "Film Festival") made an application to the Film and Publication Board to show a film entitled XXY. The film told the (fictional) story of Alex, an intersex individual ...

Protesting Diro Mine Workers
Miners from Khathu had not been paid in 5 months by their employer Diro. The miners organised a march on the 6th of September against the employer, who is situated in Centurion. The employer subsequently issued an interdict against the miners, on th...

SA Transport, Allied Workers Union and Garvas
A protest organized by SATAWU on behalf of its members within the security industry devolved into a violent riot where fifty individuals allegedly lost their lives. The respondents brought suit against SATAWU under section 11(1) of the Regulation of ...

The respondent Sylvia Vollenhoven had been commissioned by the SABC to produce and air a documentary titled "The spear", the SABC later decided not to air it however, in which instance Ms Vollenhoven sought to buy it from them and air it, which they ...

signed submissions section 16
Open/View PDF (signed_submissions_section_16.pdf)

Solidarity and SABC
Four SABC journalists had been suspended and then summarily dismissed without disciplinary hearings because of their discomfort with the SABC "Protest Policy." This policy related to the SABC's refusal to broadcast footage of destruction of public pr...

Our client, the defendant, Heidi Lee Smith was served summons from Southern Palace Investments for defamation and damages to the amount of R850 000.00, based on a publication in our clients community newspaper, Kruger2Canyon. The matter had reached a...

Submission to Social Cohesion and Nation Building
Open/View PDF (FXI-Submission-to-Committee-on-Social-Cohesion-and-Nation-Building_11082016.pdf)

The Citizen and McBride
The Citizen 1978 (Pty) Ltd. v. McBride (CCT 23/10) [2011] ZACC 11 (8 Apr. 2011) The Citizen newspaper printed a number of articles, dubbing Robert McBride (the respondent) a "murderer" and "criminal" for his role in the bombing of civilian locales a...

Timile and Radio 702
The complainant made a claim that a certain debate on radio regarding the canning of a controversial film from being broadcasted by the SABC. The complaint claimed that the debate that was had on the radio broadcast was unbalanced and biased. The com...

Tleane, C. and Duncan, J. (2003). Public Broadcasting in the Era of Cost Recovery: A Critique of the South African Broadcasting Corporation's Crisis of Accountability
The South African Broadcasting Corporation is the biggest media house in the country with its public radio section being the most popular and accessible media form that people from across races, classes and gender should have access to. Being a publi...

Tom Nkhosi (Ziwaphi) and Eddy Mabuza
Tom had written a publication in November 2016. He received a Phone call from one of the individuals mentioned in the article requesting proof that he did in fact request he answer questions( right of reply). Tome forwarded the proof, nothing further...

Press Releases

July 28 2014

May 30 2014
The Freedom of Expression Institute noted with intrigue the, lambasting of Eyewitness News by the ruling party the African National Congress ("ANC"), following the publication of the cartoon titled "Congress of clowns".
Open/View PDF (Taking_the_freedom_out_of_freedom_of_expression.pdf)

August 21 2018
Open/View PDF (Press-Release-August-2018.pdf)