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Promoting and defending the constitutional right to freedom of expression The Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) was established at the birth of South Africa's new democracy in 1994. Freedom of expression was deemed sufficiently important for&nbs...

About Us
"The founding meeting of this Freedom of Expression Institute commits this organisation to all the objects and aims stated in its constitution, but emphasises in particular its constant commitment to oppose ALL forms of censorship and to extend sup...

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...

Freedom of Expression Network (FXN)
The FXI is one of the few civil society organisations whose work is directly influenced by our strong connection to community-based organisations such as the Freedom of Expression Network. The Freedom of Expression Network (FXN) comprises of over 20...

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 ...

Law Clinic
Through the Law Clinic, the FXI has provided easily accessible legal advice on freedom of expression, including artistic freedom, academic freedom, freedom of the media and the rights of people to gather and protest. The FXI Law Clinic has built the ...

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...


Freedom of the press and other media
Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which includes - (a) freedom of the press and other media 


Global Call on AU/UN Special Rapporteurs to Intervene in Social Media Blackout
80 Press Freedom Organisation across the Globe Call on AU/UN Special Rapporteurs to Intervene in Ongoing Social Media Blackout in Chad.

Press release
FXI celebrate the role played by the media in our country...."Maintaining  steady pressure through efforts to promote  Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in the face of dwindling budgets as well as attacks similar to the ones o...

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...

Free Speech v Hate Speech
FXI SouthAfrica debating hate speech bill with Deputy Minister of Justice on SABC's Rights and Recourse.   

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...

Sheniece Linderboom, Head of the Law Clinic on protest in ICASA building

Enzenzeleni community member's demands answers on their leader's killers
There is one question on people’s lips and that is whether an activist Vusi Mlaba was killed to silence him. This speculation comes after ongoing rivalry between Mlaba and Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane. Mlaba was a husband, father...

FXI weighs in on King Zwelithini's right to freedom of expression on the Constitution:

Interview with Sheniece Linderboom, Head of the FXI Law Clinic about censorhsip

Sheniece Linderboom, Head of the FXI Law Clinic on freedom of speech

Sheniece Linderboom, head of the Law Clinic on SABC censorship

Rights and Recourse - Racism - Sheniece Linderboom, Head of FXI Law Clinic
In a speech made at a function of the Jewish Board of Deputies in 2013 then Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Jeff Radebe prefaced this problem by saying the following and I quote. 'Although as a country, South Africa has made enormo...

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.

Our Funders

Rosa Luxemburg Foundation

United States Agency for International Development

Embassy of France in South Africa, Pretoria

Our Partners

FXI is a member of the IFEX network of organisations - a global free expression network connected by a shared commitment to defend and promote freedom of expression as a fundamental human right.  

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....


Coffee and Conversation on Freedom of Expression
Come join us for an informal coffee and a conversation in our boardroom this Friday, the 9th of June 2017. Our Executive Director, Ms Tusi Fokane will be engaging members of the media in an informal conversation to unpack some of the myths and issues...

FXI Comedy Night
Dear Friend of the FXI, Comedy is one of the best examples of Freedom of Expression! Our friends at Parker’s Comedy and Jive have generously donated tickets for the night of Wednesday the 31st of May 2017 to support FXI’s fundraising ef...

SOS & Others v SABC & Others
SOS & Others v SABC & Others


Adrian Sissing and SA News Blog
Two news articles were published on the SA News Blog concerning Mr Adrian Sissing's alleged illegal business practice as a business broker. After the publishing of the two article Mr Sissing sent messages to the author of the articles threatening the...

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...

Albutt and Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation and Others 2010 (5) BCLR 391 (CC)
In November 2007, President Mbeki instituted a special dispensation process to handle pardon applications for those individuals who did not participate in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliatio...

Assmang (Pty) Ltd and P Moseki and 3 others
Certain individuals of the community based organisation CCG have been interdicted from encouraging and participating in unlawful protests among other things after organizing and participating in protest action against the mine (Assmang). The FXI Law...

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...

Hamata v Peninsula Technikon
This matter relates to the refusal of the applicant to use a lawyer of their choosing during a disciplinary hearing. The rule has always stated that during a disciplinary hearing that the student may be represented by a fellow student or by membe...

Hate Speech and Freedom of Expression in South Africa

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...

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...

Manuel v. Crawford-Browne (2471/08) [2008] ZAWCHC 13 (3 Mar. 2008)
Mr. Manuel brought a defamation suit against Mr. Crawford-Browne, a prominent campaigner against an arms deal completed by Mr. Manuel in his role as Minister of Finance. The defamatory comments alleged extreme misconduct, including tax evasion and co...

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...

MEC for Education: Kwazulu-Natal v. Pillay (CCT 51/06) [2007] ZACC 21 (5 Oct. 2007)
Sunali Pillay, a student at Durban Girls' High School and a practicing Hindu, wore a small nose stud to school. Her school concluded that she should not be allowed to wear the stud since it was allegedly disruptive and against the dress code. Thereaf...

Media 24 and SA Taxi Securitisation (PTY) LTD
Media 24 published an article sharply criticizing the conduct of SA Taxi Securitisation (Pty) Ltd. and accusing it of, inter alia, "cheating taxi operators." SA Taxi thereafter brought suit against the news source and its editors for (1) general dama...

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...

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 ...

SATAWU and Moloto
Following an unresolved wage dispute, SATAWU (the recognized majority union) notified Equity Aviation Services (Pty) Ltd. that it intended to lead a strike. Sixty-three employees who were not SATAWU members also participated in the strike. In Novembe...

Seleoane, M. and Duncan, J. (Eds). (1998). Media and Democracy in South Africa
In April 1994 South Africa entered a new era when it held its first democratic elections. Institutions of government and civil society are still struggling to position themselves in this changed environment in spite of the fact that the country's tra...

Smit and 94.7 Highveld Stereo [2010] JOL 26581 (BCCSA)
The broadcaster was accused of perpetuating indirect hate speech by broadcasting a song using the word "moffie." Complainant lodged a suit against 94.7 Highveld Stereo before the Broadcasting Complaints Commission, claiming that it contravened sectio...

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...

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. (2006). The Great Trek North:The Expansion of South African Media and ICT Companies into the SADC Region

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...

Vusi Mlaba Murder Case
This matter involves the progress of the alleged assassination of Vusi Mlaba from Warden. Vusi Mlaba was a respected community activist and whistle blower whose apparent assassination occurred on the 29th of April 2016 FXI Objective: Access to ...

Press Releases

August 14 2014
The Freedom of Expression Network joined fellow South Africans on 16 August 2015 to commemorate what has come to be known as the Marikana Massacre.
Open/View PDF (MARIKANA.pdf)

July 31 2015

August 25 2015

August 18 2014
On the 16th of August 2014, the Freedom of Expression Institute joined other civic organizations in a march to commemorate the second anniversary of the Marikana Massacre.

August 19 2014
On the 14th of August 2014, the Freedom of Expression Institute hosted a successful Media Symposium on how South Africa can ensure that it regains the status of a free media environment.

April 25 2014

April 23 2014

April 03 2014

March 01 2007
FXI picket outside SABC on Perlman's last day
Open/View PDF (FXI-picket-outside-SABC-on-Perlman--1-March-2007.pdf)

June 10 2008
Civil Society meeting resolves to tackle SABC crisis & form coalition for independent broadcasting
Open/View PDF (Civil-Society-meeting-resolves-to-tackle-SABC-crisis.pdf)

June 01 2011
FXI is vindicated by the ruling of ICASA's monitoring role in respect of the SABC's monitoring of political commentators
Open/View PDF (FXI-is-vindicated-by-the-ruling-of-ICASA.pdf)

March 27 2011
Save our SABC Coalition Submission to NCOP on Broadcasting Amendment Bill
Open/View PDF (Save-our-SABC-Coalition-Submission-to-NCOP-on-Broadcasting-Amendment-Bil1.pdf)

July 06 2011
The Crisis at the SABC
Open/View PDF (The-Crisis-at-the-SABC.pdf)

September 22 2011
FXI Congratulates ICASA on the Appointment of the Complaints and Compliance Committee Chairperson
Open/View PDF (FXI-Congratulates-ICASA-on-the-Appointment-of-the-Complaints-and-Compliance-Committee-Chairperson.pdf)

June 29 2017
A tragic week for freedom of expression defenders: FXI and FXN mourn the passing of Freedom of Expression Network Chair - Sam Radebe 30 June 2017
Open/View PDF (FXI-FXN-Statement-on-the-passing-of-FXN-Chair-Sam-Radebe-30June2017.pdf)

September 20 2017
Open/View PDF (SABCPressStatement20June2017FXI-(002).pdf)

January 28 2019
Freedom of Expression Institute 25 years on- A triumph for freedom of expression.
Open/View PDF (FXI-25th-Anniversary.pdf)

October 19 2018
Open/View PDF (Press-Release-October-2018.pdf)

May 23 2016


FXI Newsletter
ICASA settles with network operators on data regulations
Open/View PDF (ICASA-settles-with-network-operators-on-data-regulations_Nov---Dec-2018.pdf)

FXI Newsletter
SAMPADA Private Equity (Pty) Ltd v Samuel Mungadze
Open/View PDF (SAMPADA-Private-Equity-(Pty)-Ltd-v-Samuel-Mungadze_June-2018.pdf)


Democratic Alliance v SABC

FXI Submission to SAHRC Hearing on Racism and Social Media in South Africa

Laugh it Off v SAB

Media 24 v SA Taxi Securitisation (PTY) LTD

SA Transport and Allied Workers Union v Garvas

SABC & Slyvia Vollenhoven judgement

SATAWU and Moloto

Solidarity and SABC