On Wednesday, 27 February 2019, Ground up published an article written by Zoë Postman, on the current developments to declare s1 (1)(b) of the Intimidation Act of 1982 unconstitutional, on the basis that it unjustly limits the right to freedom of expression.
The section in dispute states that a person will be guilty of an offence if they act in a manner or utter words that have the effect, or might reasonably be expected to have the effect that another person fears for their own safety, the safety of their property or that of a third party.
SERI and the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) represented General Alfred Moyo, a resident of the Makause informal settlement, who was arrested in 2012 amidst the planning for a protest against police brutality.
Stuart Wilson, on behalf of SERI argued that the broad wording of this section is unconstitutional, as an accused could be convicted under the act if their conduct or utterances merely had the potential to create fear in another. This section could be open to incorrect interpretation even in cases of legitimate and peaceful protests and for this reason should be struck down.
Judgement was reserved.