Legal challenge to Intimidation Act

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Pretoria - A resident of Makause informal settlement in Primrose, Germiston, is challenging the constitutionality of the Intimidation Act, stating that it is too wide and it curbs free speech.

General Alfred Moyo is facing a charge of intimidation in the Germiston Regional Court and if convicted, he faces up to 10 years in jail.

He stated in papers before the North Gauteng High Court that he has not yet pleaded to the charge and his criminal case is on hold pending the outcome of this challenge.

He is being assisted in his legal bid by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, which is challenging the act on behalf of all South Africans.

In terms of the provisions of the Intimidation Act, a person who conducts him or herself in a manner or utters words which can be construed as being threatening to others is guilty of intimidation.

Moyo said this provision criminalises any speech or conduct which another can perceive as being threatening, even if it was not so intended. He said this constitutes a far-reaching interference with the right to freedom of expression as the constitution protected expression as long as it did not amount to incitement of violence, propaganda for war or hate speech.

The charge he is facing follows an altercation he had at the Primrose police station in October 2012 with the station commander and another high-ranking official.

They complained that he said he would ensure that they were removed from office, that they would not last long at the police station and that he threatened to repeat what happened in Marikana.

Moyo said no harm resulted from anything he did or say that day and he merely expressed himself.

Pretoria News

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