There has been a significant public outcry over the recent case of a girl being gang raped and the rape being filmed. The story appeared in the Daily Sun on Wednesday 18 April 2012 and was picked up by mainstream media shortly thereafter, with talk shows focusing on the issue as well.
In addition to the brutality of the crime there are other key issues that need to be considered:
Firstly, MMA has noted the requests for links to the video from the general public and the media’s general response to protect the child’s identity and not publish any links to the rape video.
In this regard, we note the press release from the Film and Publications Board which points out that, in terms the Film and Publications Amendment Act, it is an offence to “possess, create, produce, distribute, import, access, advertise or promote child pornography.” The current incident while possibly not created as child pornography, fits within the definition of it and anyone, including the media houses, in possession of it and/or distribute it are in our understanding, guilty of an offence and liable to a fine and/or imprisonment not exceeding 5 years.
Thus, should any person have it on their cell phone or computer and then distribute it (which includes selling the material, hiring it out or offering to others and includes a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure that the film is not accessed by someone under the age of 18) through sending a link to a friend or forwarding it they are guilty of at least one offence. It is important to note that each action constitutes a separate offence: one of possession and the other of distribution of child pornography.
In addition, forwarding and viewing the material also constitutes secondary abuse of the child involved. Accordingly, MMA calls on all media to raise awareness of the seriousness of the offence and its potential consequences.
Secondly, MMA is aware that the Daily Sun published an image of the girl and we will be meeting with them to discuss the issues involved.
For More information please contact:
William Bird, Director, MMA – Tel: 011 788 1278, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kgalalelo Morwe, Editor: Children’s Project – Tel 011 788 1278, E-mail: email@example.com