Internal Security Act, 1982

The Internal Security Act, 1982 (Act No. 74 of 1982) was an act of the Parliament of South Africa that consolidated and replaced various earlier pieces of security legislation, including the Suppression of Communism Act, 1950, parts of the Riotous Assemblies Act, 1956, the Unlawful Organizations Act, 1960 and the Terrorism Act, 1967.[1] It gave the apartheid government broad powers to ban or restrict organisations, publications, people and public gatherings, and to detain people without trial. The Act was passed as a consequence of the recommendations of the Rabie Commission, which had enquired into the state of security legislation.[2][3]

Internal Security Act, 1982
Coat of arms of South Africa (1932–2000).svg
Parliament of South Africa
CitationAct No. 74 of 1982
Enacted byParliament of South Africa
Assented to1 June 1982
Commenced2 July 1982
Repealedvarious dates from 31 July 1991 to 20 May 2005
Administered byMinister of Law and Order, Minister of Justice
Suppression of Communism Act, 1950
Unlawful Organizations Act, 1960
Terrorism Act, 1967
Repealed by
Internal Security and Intimidation Amendment Act, 1991
Abolition of Restrictions on Free Political Activity Act, 1993
Regulation of Gatherings Act, 1993
Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Act, 2004
Status: Repealed

It took over from the Suppression of Communism Act as the basis for serving banning orders on people. It also provided for house arrest.[4]

Most of the Act was progressively repealed during the transitional period between 1990 (when in October, the last of five successive years of states of emergency concluded) and 1996, with the last remaining sections repealed in 2005.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Williams, Gwyneth; Hackland, Brian (2015). The Dictionary of Contemporary Politics of Southern Africa. Taylor and Francis. p. 335. ISBN 9781317270805.
  2. ^ "The legal veneer". South African History Online. 31 July 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2019. ...from the book A Crime Against Humanity - Analysing the Repression of the Apartheid State edited by Max Coleman, (Cape Town)
  3. ^ 'A Crime Against Humanity - Analysing the Repression of the Apartheid State (full text online)
  4. ^ "The Internal Security Act is passed: Friday 2 July 1982". South African History Online (updated 1 July 2019 ed.). 26 June 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2019.

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