Arrangement of Sections


   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

   3.   Prohibition of uniforms and flags in connection with political objects

   4.   Prohibition of quasi-military organisations

   5.   Regulation of assemblies, public meetings and processions

   6.   Penalty for disobeying a direction or violating conditions of permit issued under section 5

   7.   Unauthorised assemblies

   8.   Exemptions

   9.   National anthem to be played at public meetings

   10.   Prohibition of weapons at public meetings and processions

   11.   Prohibition of offensive conduct conducive to breaches of peace

   12.   Powers for preservation of public order in respect of public meetings and processions

   13.   Penalty for making statements or doing acts intended to promote hostility between sections of community

   14.   Penalty for inciting to strike in certain circumstances

   15.   Enforcement


to prohibit the wearing of uniforms in connection with political objects and the maintenance by private persons of associations of military or similar character; and to make further provision for the preservation of public order.

[19th August, 1955]

Act 38 of 1955,

Act 17 of 1956,

Act 10 of 1959,

Act 28 of 1959,

Act 51 of 1960,

Act 19 of 1965,

Act 69 of 1965,

Act 10 of 1967,

Act 25 of 1969,

Act 51 of 1970,

Act 24 of 1977,

Act 28 of 1985,

Act 13 of 1994,

Act 1 of 1996,

Act 36 of 1996,

GN 230 of 1964,

GN 497 of 1964,

SI 8 of 1965,

SI 66 of 1965.

1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Public Order Act.

2.   Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“meeting” means a meeting held for the purpose of the discussion of matters of public interest or for the purpose of the expression of views on such matters;

“public meeting” includes any meeting in a public place and any meeting (whether or not in a building) which the public or any section thereof are permitted to attend, whether on payment or otherwise;

“public place” includes any highway, market place, square, road, street, bridge or other way which is lawfully used by the public, and any place, including a building, to which the public are for the time being entitled or permitted to have access either without any condition or upon the condition of making any payment;

“public procession” means a procession in a public place.


[“uniform” rep by s 2 of Act 1 of 1996.]

[S 2 am by Act 10 of 1959; GN 230 of 1964; SI 66 of 1965; Act 25 of 1969, 51 of 1970.]

3.   ...

[S 3 rep by s 3 of Act 1 of 1996.]

4.   Prohibition of quasi-military organisations

   (1) If the members or adherents of any association of persons are—

      (a)   organised or trained or equipped for the purpose of enabling them to be employed in such a manner that such employment usurps or tends or appears to usurp the functions of the police or of the Defence Force; or

      (b)   organised and trained or organised and equipped either for the purpose of enabling them to be employed for the use or display of physical force in promoting any political object, or in such manner as to arouse reasonable apprehension that they are organised and either trained or equipped for that purpose;

then any person who takes part in the control or management of the association, or in so organising or training as aforesaid any members or adherents thereof, shall be guilty of an offence against this section:

Provided that, in any proceedings against a person charged with the offence of taking part in the control or management of such an association as aforesaid, it shall be a defence to that charge for him to prove that he neither consented to nor connived at the organisation, training or equipment of members or adherents of the association in contravention of the provisions of this section.

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