Riotous Assembly is the debut novel of British comic writer Tom Sharpe, written and originally published in 1971. Set in the fictitious South African town of Piemburg, Riotous Assembly lampoons South African apartheid, and the police who enforced it.
Kommandant van Heerden, who has risen to Chief of Police of Piemburg through family connections rather than merit, is called out to deal with a strange murder case involving the eccentric British spinster, Miss Hazlestone. It appears that Miss Hazlestone has obliterated her black cook with a quadruple-barreled elephant gun. As a great believer in apartheid South Africa, van Heerden is initially willing to brush the incident under the carpet, until Miss Hazlestone reveals that she and the cook were former lovers who engaged in some extremely unseemly fantasies. In his panic to stop the truth getting out, van Heerden resorts to placing Miss Hazlestone under house arrest, calling in all the reinforcements he can to quarantine the area and placing his assistant, the profoundly stupid and bloodthirsty Konstabel Els, on guard with the elephant gun. The chaos that follows turns a potentially sensitive political scandal into a full-blown catastrophe, one that van Heerden, his deputy Lieutenant Verkamp and Els must resolve to uphold the honour of Piemburg and apartheid.