Complaints regarding human rights violations | Western Cape Government

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 is a national institution that ensures everyone’s human rights are protected and observed.

Human Rights DayThe SAHRC will help you if any of your rights in the Bill of Rights have been violated or abused. Check the Bill of Rights to see if your rights have been violated or abused. The SAHRC is an institution that ensures and protects everyone’s human rights.

To lodge a complaint, complete the online complaint form or email

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

  • Your case doesn't 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've been convicted of a crime, and you want to appeal.

Contact the SAHRC if you are unsure whether your case is one that the SAHRC will handle. For more information, contact the Western Cape Office:

Matthew Du Plessis
3rd Floor, One Thibault Building, 1 Long Street, Cape Town
Tel: 072 362 6467

If you believe the police have violated your rights, you can contact the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).IPID will conduct independent, impartial, and thorough investigations of alleged criminal offences committed by members of the South African Police Services or members of the Metro Police Services.

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

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

Cape Town Office

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

George Office

Physical Address: 101 York Street, Ground Floor, Nedbank Building, George
Tel: 044 873 3378
Fax: 044 873 4861

If you want to complain about a member of a government department, you should contact the Public Protector. The Public Protector is an independent institution that has the power to investigate, report on and resolve improper conduct in all government departments. 

Anyone can complain to the Public Protector, who will investigate the complaint. If the Public Protector finds that the complaint is justified, they'll do whatever they can to find a solution to the problem and recommend 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. Include the following information in the letter:

  • The nature of your complaint.
  • The background and history of the complaint.
  • The reasons why you feel the Public Protector should investigate the complaint. 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.

The Public Protector, in some instances, 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.

Public Protector's Office

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 is a dispute resolution body mandated to solve workplace conflicts.

The CCMA will:

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

For more information contact:

Cape Town Office

Postal Address: Private Bag X9167, Cape Town, 8000
Physical Address: CCMA House, 78 Darling Street, Cape Town
Tel: 021 469 0111
Fax: 021 465 7193/97/87/021 462 5006

George Office

Physical Address: 2 Cathedral Square, 62 Cathedral Street, George, 6529
Tel: 044-805-7700/01
Call Centre: 0861 16 16 16
Fax: 044 873 2906

If you experience discrimination (treated unfairly) because of your sex (gender), you should contact the Commission on Gender Equality.

The Commission on Gender Equality protects gender equality in South Africa through effective monitoring and litigation.

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 2023