Watch out before you harass people online

The new Protection from Harassment Act makes it easy to stop online harassment, and take action against the harassers

By - April 29, 2013 Share on LinkedIn
Troll connoisseur harassment internet

The Protection from Harassment Act (Act 17 of 2011) came into operation on 27 April 2013, aimed at stopping “the pain and suffering of being harassed”.

The Protection of Harassment Act, which was adopted by Parliament towards the end of 2011, provides for an inexpensive civil remedy to protect a person from behaviour which may not constitute a crime but which may impact negatively on various rights of an individual.

The Act aims to address harassment by means of a court order, in terms of which the harasser is prohibited from continuing with the act of harassment.

Any person who contravenes such an order is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years.

In terms of the Act, the court may order –

  • Electronic communication service providers to provide the court with the name and address of a person who harasses another person in cyber space; and
  • The South African Police Service (SAPS) to investigate instances of harassment in order to ascertain the name and address of harasser whose particulars are not known by the complainant.

The SAPS may in certain circumstances also investigate a complaint of harassment made directly to the SAPS to ascertain the identity and address of the harasser.

If a person is being harassed, he or she may apply for a protection order against such conduct at a magistrate’s court.

The procedure for applying for a protection order is straight forward and inexpensive. Legal representation is not required.

When a court grants a protection order, a warrant of arrest will automatically be issued for the harasser.

The execution thereof will be suspended, pending any non-compliance with a condition of the protection order.

More Internet articles

Internet trolls beware

Teen accuses mom of Facebook harassment

Be careful what you say on the internet

Killing for Internet access

Biggest hacks of 2012 (so far)

Share your thoughts

Join the conversation

Connect with Us



Would you buy a new high-end Motorola smartphone?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

More News

Websites in South Africa affected by massive DDoS attack in USA


A large DDoS attack in the US against a company which runs managed DNS services is causing multiple major websites to go offline – including those with a presence in South Africa.

Independent Media quits South Africa’s press ombudsman


The Press Council on Friday criticised Independent Media’s decision to resign from the body and establish its own ombudsman.

Zuma accepts third SABC board member’s resignation

SABC logo

President Jacob Zuma has accepted the resignation of SABC board member Leah Thabisile Khumalo.

Twitter is down

Twitter on phone

Twitter is down for many South African users, following reports of a massive DDoS attack in the United States.

Free MyBroadband Newsletter