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Old apartheid-era tactics are still being used to victimise and threaten communities who take part in civil protests, the Freedom of Expression Network said on Thursday.
Spokesperson Magwaza Setshedi said the Regulation of Gatherings Act was used to silence poor and other marginalised groups.
"It is sad and unbelievable," she said.
A large group of people supporting the Network handed over a memorandum to a representative of Gauteng community safety MEC Firoz Cachalia at the provincial legislature building in Johannesburg.
A group also picketed in front of Parliament in Cape Town.
"As we speak now, there are members of community organisations around the country who are always victimised and targeted for taking part in protests," said Setshedi.
For protesters it was not uncommon to hear threats such as: "If you continue arranging this protest something bad is going to happen to you".
Setshedi said the day's action in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Harrismith in the Free State was to speak out against attempts to intimidate, harass, victimise, unlawfully arrest or torture protesters.
In Harrismith a group met to commemorate the death of Teboho Mkhonza, a local school boy, who was shot dead in a service delivery protest in 2004.
Network representatives met Mkhonza's family before visiting the site of the shooting and his grave. - Sapa