Regional Peace and Security Issues JHB multi-stakeholder workshop -26th November 2018

Venue: Sunnyside Park Hotel, Parktown

Keynote Address: Ambassador Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Small and Medium Business Development and Chair of ANC International Relations Sub-Committee

Followed by:

Question and Answer session/Facilitated Dialogue and Discussion with additional inputs from ANC IR Subcommittee members, civil society leaders, academics and the international diplomatic community

SALO would like to thank the Royal Norwegian Embassy
for their direct support for this event.

Multi-stakeholder dialogue on the Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill – 20 Nov 2018

Date: Tuesday 20th November 2018, 9H00 – 12H00

Venue: 6 Spin Street, Cape Town CBD (near Parliament)

Click on the videos below to view SABC reports from our workshop:


Chair:  Tawanda Sachikonye, SALO

Opening Remarks:  Marissa van Rensburg, SALO

KEYNOTE SPEAKER:  Deputy Minister John Jeffery, Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

  • Funeka Soldaat: Founder of Khayelitsha-based lesbian advocacy group, Free Gender

  • Judith Mukuna: Refugee rights activist, Scalabrini Centre

  • Prof. Tim Murithi: Head, Peacebuilding Interventions, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation

Concluding Remarks:

Bishop Rubin Phillip, Co-Chair: KwaZulu-Natal Social Cohesion and Moral Regeneration council; Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Natal; Former Dean of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa; Chair of the SALO board

SALO would like to thank the Royal Norwegian Embassy

for their direct support for this event


The new government of Zimbabwe has a huge challenge of making economic and political reforms in order to resolve the deep systemic challenges facing the country. Some key changes are needed in various sectors and institutions to align with calls for economic reengagement and democratisation. Whilst much attention has been placed on economic reforms, political transformation needs to receive the same level of attention for Zimbabwe to garner domestic trust and international support. The role of South Africa and the region remains crucial in Zimbabwe’s democratisation process.

This workshop focused on the kind of political and economic reforms needed and the role the region can play in Zimbabwe.


Prof Brian Raftopoulos, Director of Research and Advocacy, Solidarity Peace Trust and Research Fellow, International Studies Group, University of Free State

Dr Godfrey Kanyenze, Founding Director, Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ)

Ms Thoko Matshe, Country Coordinator Southern Africa, Olof Palme International Center

Dr Ruth Murambadoro, Researcher, Centre for the Sexualities, Aids and Gender, University of Pretoria

Mr Lucian Segami, Head of International Relations, NEHAWU and SALO Board Member


Ms Molly Dhlamini, SALO Board Member



The evident love and grief of millions of Zimbabweans across political divide for their former Prime Minister, after his passing on 14 February 2018, has affirmed his standing as a towering figure in Zimbabwe’s history. Tsvangirai, a former trade unionist and leader of democratic movements, led courageously in the darkest days for those movements and lived to see the end of President Mugabe’s rule. After the military ousted Mugabe, Tsvangirai was treated with respect by the new Zimbabwean President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and the state supported his funeral.

This seminar reflected on Zimbabwe’s former Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, his passing, legacy and developments since his death.


Mr Thulasizwe Simelane, Senior Political Journalist, eNCA


Prof Brian Raftopoulos,
Director of Research and Advocacy: Solidarity Peace Trust, SALO Board member

Dr Nkululeko Sibanda,
Presidential Spokesperson, MDC Alliance

Hon Priscila Misihairabwi Mushonga,
Member of Parliament, MDC

Brian Kagoro,
Zimbabweån activist and constitutional law expert

Ms Venitia Govender,
South African Solidarity Activist and SALO Founder Member

Multi-stakeholder Dialogue on the Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill – 28 June 2018

Multi-stakeholder Dialogue on the Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill

Pretoria, 28 June 2018

Keynote speaker:

Hon. John Jeffery, Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development


On the 28th of June 2018, SALO in partnership with the Embassies of Norway and the Netherlands hosted a multi-stakeholder dialogue on the Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill at the Sierra Burgers Park hotel in Pretoria. Stakeholders in attendance represented organisations such as Centre for Human Rights UP, Restorative Justice Centre (RJC), the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), Access Chapter, Save the Children, the Embassies of Norway, Netherlands and Central African Republic. Opening remarks were made by Ambassador of Norway, Ms Trine Skymoen followed by keynote speaker, Hon. John Jeffery, Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development. The event was chaired by Dr Showers Mawowa.

The Ambassador of Norway, Ms Skymoen, spoke of Europe’s experience in witnessing a rise of right-wing and xenophobic rhetoric. The importance of hate crimes and speech bill is evident in the European context. She speaks of the interlinked issues of hate crime and hate speech as a rising global challenge which is somewhat a paradox considering society is becoming more accepting and diverse. Extremist movements strongly oppose diverse and inclusive societies and while being a minority, they cannot be ignored. Intolerance and hatred is not simply cured by economic progress and development. The dialogue nurtured robust and enlightening discussion surrounding the bill, but all were clear that we must stand together in fighting against hate speech and hate crimes.

Deputy Minister, John Jeffrey, gave an overview of the bill and its status, speaking to the importance of prosecuting related crimes but emphasising that the law will not be a solution to ‘unacceptably high’ levels of racism and hateful violence in South Africa. Following this, the session focused on debating the issues surrounding the bill, specifically in relation to hate speech. Right2Know raised concerns about how criminalising hate speech, could possibly criminalise freedom of expression and protest. LGBTQI activists spoke of the influence of Religious organisations who can still preach hate if it does not actively encourage violence. They state that hate crime can be directly linked to hate speech so hateful sermons can encourage violence against minorities. The bill was seen to be dealing with the branches of racism and hate rather than the roots. The RJC emphasised the importance of restorative justice and how it can prevent high levels of recidivism, something which the bill is lacking. This tied into the finals point raised on the importance of social cohesion and how we need to look at this issue from all dimensions and using all the instruments at our disposal.

Participants felt the presentation provided a good overview of the Bill and the following discussions were insightful and informative. Participants also found they were able to ask questions and voice opinions directly to the government. Going forward suggestions were made about engaging in certain topics around solutions such as social cohesion and social contract making in SA.


“What I found most useful is the information that there’s still opportunity for public consultations with prominent figures” – Geoffery Uqwauo, Center for Human Rights

“Open Dialogue with sufficient time for discussion”- Gift Kgomosotho, SAHRC

“They offer dialogue that is informative”- Stanley Thabang Malata, RHS (PM)


A discussion on the state of Human Rights in general, and gender-based violence in particular, on the occasion of the visit of Kees van Baar, Human Rights Ambassador of the Netherlands, Rochus Pronk, Head of the Human Rights Team, Geneva, and Matthijs van Eeuwen, sr. Policy officer South Africa desk, The Hague

Date: Monday 9 April 2018

Venue: 929 Diokane street, Jabavu, corner Leoatleng street, Soweto

Time:  14h30 – 16h30


Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, John Jeffery

Deputy President, Congress of South African Students (COSAS), Oluthando Sonjalo

SALO Senior Associate and Human Rights Activist, Rebone Tau

Chair: SALO Deputy Director, Showers Mawowa

SALO would like to thank the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands for their direct support for this event

SADC and the DRC crisis – 20 March 2018

The deteriorating situation is the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continues raise concern. Characterised by repression of dissent, which has resulted in the killing of protestors, an unclear elections roadmap, ambiguity on succession and an unreformed natural resource governance mechanism, the prevailing situation now poses significant threats to peace, stability and economic success in southern Africa. However, SADC appears ill-prepared to decisively deal with ongoing crises in the DRC and its accompanying silence has left the door wide open from the Joseph Kabila government to act with impunity.

The Open Society Initiative (OSISA), in partnership with the Southern Africa Liaison Office (SALO) and the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), invite you to a roundtable discussion on the DRC crisis and the role of SADC in resolving it.


Opening and closing remarks: Dr Showers Mawowa, Deputy Director, the Southern African Liaison Office (SALO)
Nicole Odia Kayembe, Lawyer and Human Rights Defender
Sylvain Mbaya Lumu, Lawyer and Human Rights Defender
Nick Elebe, Director (OSISA-DRC)
Prof André Mbata Mangu, Research Professor and Director of the Verloren van Themaat Centre of Public Law in the College of Law at UNISA. (TBC)

CHAIR: Stephanie Wolters, Head |Peace and Security Research Programme | Chef |Programme de recherche paix et sécurité Institute for Security Studies, Pretoria | Institute d’Etudes de Securite, Pretoria

Community dialogue on LGBTI issues in Soweto – 26 February 2018

(Karabo Primary school Naledi Soweto)

In partnership with the Embassy of Ireland, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and South African Department of Justice, SALO will engage, through a series of meetings, with local stakeholders and community members to create a community-based approach in tackling the problem of gender-based violence, violence against lesbians and members of the LGBTI community in Soweto and the rest of South Africa. The first meeting comprised predominantly of youth; members from local civil society groups, DOJ, Naledi Community Policing Forum Youth Desk, Access Chapter 2, members of the diplomatic community, ANC, ANCYL and COSAS.

In the opening remarks of our first meeting, a member of the ANC Youth put it eloquently that the issue of gender-based violence and violence against LGBTI people is one that affects us all; our brothers, our sisters, our mothers and fathers, our girlfriends and boyfriends. The persistence of these issues, particularly in Soweto, is of great concern to community leaders and civil society groups. The Deputy President of COSAS (Congress of South African Students) stated that there are numerous contributing factors to this violence, all of which need to be researched thoroughly to find the best approach in tackling the violence as well as breaking the stigma associated with LGBTI individuals. The importance of youth engagement was a strong theme in this meeting as it was emphasised that the issue cannot be solved without their participation. Their ability to influence and engage with older community members will be paramount. Members of the youth community can also assist in combatting negative culture influences so that there can wider acceptance of LGBTI people. A traditional healer spoke to importance of changing culture and spoke to some success in his own community. Over the past few years however, SA have been lacking in leaders on these issues, so SA people need to be agents of change which requires active leadership in the community.

The Irish Ambassador spoke to the experiences of LGTBI people in Ireland and how they went from a deeply conservative and catholic country to one that is more accepting and now allows same-sex marriage. Ireland wants to share their experiences so to help others evolve into more accepting societies. Ireland will support the efforts that SA develop from the ground but emphasised the importance of hearing from local leaders and activists as their views and actions are essential in working towards positive and influential action.

The SA constitution is seen as one of the greatest in the world due to the protections it bestows on its people. The consensus during the meeting is that this certainly doesn’t translate into real life protections for the LGBTI community. Participants were quick to emphasise the impact culture had in the discrimination against LGBTI and spoke to the importance of educating people on the values set out in their constitution so that underlying culture issues can evolve into something more positive and accepting. The issue of education can also relate to training of the SA police forces. There have been numerous reports of police not treating attacks on LGBTI people as hate crimes which has negative consequences when measuring the impact of these issues. Gauteng province has taken steps after pressure from local civil society groups where local police forces are required to attend workshops on sensitivity training related to LGBTI issues. An LGTBI activist, along with a member of the Community Forum Health Youth Desk, stated that more needs to be done so that Police are adequately trained. Speaking specifically to Police in Soweto, they are not prepared for crimes against LGBTI people. The ANCYL spoke to the inadequacies of the police force in how they lock up violent perpetrators without any push for rehabilitation. The issue of sex work was touched upon but it was noted that more needs to be discussed particularly due to increasing violence against lesbians who are forced into prostitution.

Ultimately, there is a need to acknowledge that there is a problem before one can begin to tackle the issue. The ANCYL notes that there are personal differences on LGBTI issues so more engagement is required. Using SALO and their partners, community members must engage and provoke religious leaders and faith-based organisations. Religious leaders such as pastors or priests have an audience they can speak to about the importance of respect and humanity. The leaders who are most conflicting about LGBTI people are those who should be engaged with most.  SALO must also involve psychologists and mental health practitioners to address the growing concerns of mental health issues that members of the LGBTI community experience: isolation, trauma, anxiety, stress and suicidal tendencies. There is a capacity to build a strong network in the community, fostering new relationships and partnerships with key stakeholders with the aim of promoting stronger activism and support for the issues of Gender-based violence and violence against LGBTI people. Participants were confident in SALO’s ability to move this forward as initial discussions were fruitful.

Multi-stakeholder Dialogue – Are Free, Fair and Credible Elections Possible in Zimbabwe?

Tuesday 27 February 2018
TIME: (9:00 Registration) 9:30pm to 13:00pm with a tea break and followed by lunch
VENUE: Sierra Burgers Park Hotel, Pretoria

Is a free and fair election possible in Zimbabwe? Will the country’s new government deliver on the promise of a credible election? What is the country’s state of electoral readiness? How can South Africa, the Southern African region and the rest of the international community support a free, fair and credible election in Zimbabwe?

The Southern African Liaison Office (SALO) in partnership with the Election Resource Centre (ERC) and Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) hosted a multi-stakeholder dialogue on the prospects for free, fair and credible elections in Zimbabwe on the 27th of February 2018.