Unlawful Organizations Act, 1960

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Unlawful Organizations Act, 1960
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Act to empower the Governor-General, with a view to the safety of the public or the maintenance of public order, by proclamation in the Gazette to declare the Pan Africanist Congress and the African National Congress and certain other organizations to be unlawful organizations, to amend the Riotous Assemblies Act, 1956, and to provide for other incidental matters.
Citation Act No. 34 of 1960
Enacted by Parliament of South Africa
Date of Royal Assent 7 April 1960
Date commenced 7 April 1960
Date repealed 2 July 1982
Administered by Minister of Justice
Repealing legislation
Internal Security Act, 1982
Related legislation
Suppression of Communism Act, 1950
Status: Repealed

The Unlawful Organizations Act No 34 of 1960 (commenced 7 April 1960) allowed the apartheid government of South Africa to declare unlawful any organizations deemed to threaten public order or the safety of the public. This legislation was enacted within a few weeks of 1960's Sharpeville Massacre. The African National Congress (ANC) and Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) were immediately declared unlawful, and the Indemnity Act that followed legislatively indemnified supporters of the apartheid regime from any wrongdoing connected to the massacre.


The Unlawful Organizations Act was repealed by section 73 of the Internal Security Act, 1982. However, the Internal Security Act contained similar provisions allowing the government to ban organizations. The bans on the ANC, the PAC and other anti-apartheid groups were lifted in 1990 at the start of the negotiations to end apartheid. The Internal Security Act's provisions for banning organizations were finally repealed by the Security Matters Rationalisation Act in 1996.