Complaints Regarding Human Rights Violations | Western Cape Government


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Complaints Regarding Human Rights Violations


The Constitution states that the fundamental rights of all South Africans will be protected and respected. These rights are listed in the Bill of Rights along with the circumstances when it may be permissible to limit these rights.

Various government bodies and institutions have been set up to ensure that rights are protected.


If your rights have been violated you can report the matter to one of the following bodies:


The SAHRC will help you if any of your rights in the Bill of Rights have been violated or abused. You can check the Bill of Rights to make sure that your rights have been violated or abused.

To lodge a complaint you need to complete the online complaint form or email

The SAHRC will usually not be able to help you where:

  • Your case does not involve a violation of any of the rights in the Bill of Rights.
  • Your problem happened before 27 April 1994.
  • Your case is a criminal case and you need a lawyer (in this case, please call the Legal Aid Board on 021 861 3000 or visit their offices at your closest Magistrate's Court).
  • You have been convicted of a crime and you want to appeal.

If you're not sure whether your case is one, which the SAHRC will deal with, please contact the SAHRC.

For more information contact the Western Cape Office:

Karam Jeet Singh

7th Floor, ABSA Building, 132 Adderley Street, Cape Town, 8000
Tel: 021 426 2277
Fax: 021 426 2875

If your rights have been violated by the police, you should contact the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.

IPID will investigate only the matters specified in the IPID Act, for more information please  read the complaint procedure

You can e-mail your complaint to or fax it to 021 949 3196.

Postal Address: Private Bag X 43, Bellville, 7535
Physical Address: 1st Floor, Fintrust Building, Corner Petrusa & Mazzur Street, Bellville, 7530
Tel: 021 941 4800
Fax: 021 949 3196

If you want to complain about a member of a government department, you should contact the Public Protector.

Anyone can complain to the Public Protector, who will then investigate the complaint. If the Public Protector finds that the complaint is justified, they'll do whatever possible to find a solution to the problem, which includes recommending changes to the system.

If you've been unable to solve the problem by talking to the official and their supervisor, you should write to the Public Protector. The following information should be contained in the letter:

  • The nature of your complaint.
  • The background and history of the complaint.
  • The reasons why you feel the complaint should be investigated by the Public Protector.
  • The steps you've taken to solve the problem yourself.
  • Specific details - names of officials, dates etc.
  • Copies of any correspondence between you and the officials.
  • Your contact details.

In some instances, the Public Protector may require a statement under oath before investigating.

If you need help with the complaint, you can phone the Public Protector's Office. There are trained staff members who will listen to a complaint, big or small, and conduct investigations.

Postal Address: Western Cape Regional Office, PO Box 712, Cape Town, 8000
Physical Address: 4th Floor, 51 Wale Street/Bree Street, Cape Town
Tel: 021 423 8644
Fax: 012 423 8708

If your employer has violated your rights, you should contact the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) (after you have tried to sort the matter out at work).

The CCMA will:

  • Conciliate workplace disputes.
  • Arbitrate disputes that remain unresolved after conciliation.

For more information contact:

Postal Address: Private Bag X9167, Cape Town, 8000
Physical Address: 78 Darling Street, Cape Town
Tel: 021 469 0111
Fax: 021 465 7193/7

If you were discriminated against (treated badly) because of your sex (gender) you should contact the Commission on Gender Equality.

When making a complaint, you should try to provide as much information as possible. Complaints are strictly confidential.

For more information contact:

Physical Address: 5th Floor ABSA Building, 132 Adderley Street,
Cape Town, 8001
Tel: 021 426 4080
Fax: 021 424 0549

You can also lodge a complaint online.

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The content on this page was last updated on 16 March 2021