Launch Community Police Forums and xenophobic violence report – 22 September 2021

Date: 22 SEPTEMBER 2021

Time: 09:30–12:00

This research report examines the role of Community Police Forums in the prevention of xenophobic violence and related hate crimes in South Africa. It explores the challenges inherent in both the legislative and policy framework and its implementation. It also explores opportunities to bolster the CPF role in actively preventing and responding to violence against non-nationals within the context of existing legislative and policy framework including the National Action Plan (NAP) to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.


Time Topic Speaker
09h3009h35 Welcome and introductions Themba Masuku, APCOF
09h3509h50 Opening remarks European Union EU Representative
09h5010h05 Combating xenophobic violence and hate crimes through community participation Commissioner Chris Nissen, SAHRC
10h0510h30 The role of CPFs in addressing xenophobic violence and hate crime through NAP Hon. John Jeffery (MP), Deputy Minister of Justice
10h3011h15 Prevention role of CPF research report Louise Edwards, APCOF
11h1511h35 Integrating migrants in communities Lily Hlophe, DDP
11h3511h55 Community participation is key to policing SAPS representative
11h2511h50 Questions and answers Themba Masuku, APCOF
11h5012h00 Closure Themba Masuku, APCOF

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Use of lethal force by police in south africa

Date: Tuesday, 24 August 2021 | Time: 08:00 (GMT)

The excessive use of force by police or by armed forces performing functions of public security is a challenge shared by several if not most African countries. Particularly in the presence of terrorism or serious violent crime, the use of deadly force is often justified as the inevitable result of the context.

Excessive use of lethal force, however, does not only point to the existence of serious human rights violations such as extrajudicial killing, but also includes situations where lethal force by public agents may not have been illegal, but could have been avoided.

Invitation to a Webinar on Decriminalising Poverty in South Africa

Date: Thursday, 1 July2021 | Time: 10h00 -11h30 (GMT)

South Africa’s Constitution, reflective of regional human rights law, embodies values and principles that mandate the adoption and implementation of measures that promote a more inclusive and egalitarian society. To achieve this, the state is compelled to identify and address the underlying and social determinants of poverty, inequality and socialeconomic marginalisation. However, across all nine provinces, laws exist, primarily enshrined in metropolitan municipal by-laws, that criminalise the status of individuals and entrench discrimination, exclusion and marginalisation.

As part of its ongoing efforts to promote a rights-centred approach to the use of arrest and detention, the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF) has published a policy-relevant research study which highlights problematic municipal by-laws that have the effect of criminalising urban poverty and the performance of life-sustaining activities in public places, and recommends the adoption of an alternative framework to criminalisation.

To launch the study, and to build on the network of organisations and individuals working to promote the decriminalisation of poverty and homelessness in South Africa, APCOF is hosting a launch webinar between 10h00 and 11h30 on 1 July 2021. Click to register for the event.

Register here

Policing in Africa: What prospects does a Model Police Law for Africa hold? [FRENCH] Webinar report 22 April 2021

Policing in Africa: What prospects does a Model Police Law for Africa hold? [Eng] Webinar report 22 April 2021

Webinar: Safeguarding rights – Accountability and oversight in the time of COVID-19

Date: Wednesday, 26 May 2021 | Time: 13h00—15h00 (GMT)

The challenges posed by COVID-19 were often described as “unprecedented”; the ways in which States responded, around the world, have been dramatic. In many places, extensive new powers have been sought—or often just taken—and systems designed to ensure the protection of fundamental human rights have in many cases been left to catch up.

This panel will explore some of the issues around the derogation and limitation provisions in international rights instruments, what activates these provisions, how we build in safeguards and sunset clauses and what special considerations need to be factored into policymaking, especially for different parts of the criminal justice system (for example in corrections facilities, or in designing temporary developments such as in camera hearings). Outside of the criminal justice system, broad concerns have been voiced concerning privacy, as well as the continued exercise of fundamental rights such as the right of peaceful assembly.

Simultaneous interpretation will be available in English, French and Spanish.

Speakers include:

Prof. Frans Viljoen (chair); Director, Centre for Human Rights
Hon. Solomon Dersso; Chairperson, African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
Prof. Fionnuala ní Aoláin; UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism
Prof. Hélène Tigroudja; UN Human Rights Committee
Pedro Vaca Villareal; Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Webinar: Policing in Africa

Date: Thursday, 22 April 2021 | Time: 08h00 (GMT)

This webinar, co-hosted by PAP and APCOF, will bring together Africa’s law makers, practitioners and its human rights overseers to discuss what prospects a model law holds for the continent, and how can this can complement the efforts of the African Commission on Human and People Rights and the African Union.

Register in advance for this webinar: e9cGUsNYj3Zw

Webinar: Deaths in police custody

Date: Friday, 23 April 2021 | Time: 10h00 – 12h00 (SAST)

The factors that contribute to deaths in police custody are numerous and complex, and are both internal and external to SAPS. They include the treatment of suspects and detainees by SAPS members, the lack of health and other services available to detainees at station level, poor conditions of detention, and deficits in the effectiveness of both internal and external accountability mechanisms.

The African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF) together with the SAHRC are marking Africa Pre-Trial Detention Day on 25 April by presenting this webinar to provide a forum for the key stakeholders – SAPS, IPID, the NPM and civil society – to unpack these complex issues and identify a way forward.

A simplified version of the principles on the decriminalisation of petty offences in Africa – PORTUGUESE

A Comissão Africana adoptou esta nova norma legal porque estava preocupada que certas categorias de pessoas – incluindo aquelas que são pobres ou de outra forma socialmente excluídas – podiam ser injustamente atingidas por infracções menores. Mais concretamente, a Comissão Africana estava preocupada que a existência e execução das infracções menores podia violar os direitos que são protegidos pela Carta Africana dos Direitos Humanos e dos Povos (‘a Carta Africana’), incluindo a não discriminação (Artigo 2°), liberdade e segurança (Artigo 5°) e a não detenção arbitrária (Artigo 5°).