Two articles by The Star, “Teacher’s lesson leads to ‘child molester’ arrest” (14/08/2012, p.2) and“Teen jailed for savage murder of black man” (16/08/2012 p.7) share a GLAD for protecting the identities of children in vulnerable circumstances.
The first article, “Teacher’s lesson leads to ‘child molester’ arrest” reported on a teacher whose lesson on sexual abuse, led to one of his pupils confiding in him about a neighbour who had molested her on several occasions. Following thorough investigations, it was later revealed that the accused neighbour had indeed been molesting children in the neighbourhood when they came to visit his daughter – whom he had also been sexually abusing, and was consequently arrested.
The article mentions that ‘Neither the child nor the mother can be named, to protect their identities.’ which deserves special commendation as it shows an awareness, on the journalist’s part, that abused children need protection, even through their connections – such as their mothers, schools and teachers.
Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) therefore commends the journalist, Botho Molosankwe, for protecting the identities of the abused children and in particular the child who confessed to the teacher by giving her a pseudonym.
The second article covers a court case involving a 17-year-old boy jailed for the murder of a 59-year-old man. The article reports that Johan – a pseudonym used by the journalist, Brendan Roane – was angry because the victim could not speak English and apparently insulted him.
MMA thus commends, Roane for upholding Section154 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Act1 by protecting the identity of the child involved in a court case.
Well done to The Star for protecting the identities of children involved in sensitive issues and in so doing promoting and respecting their rights to privacy.
1. Section 154 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Act states :” No person shall publish in any manner whatever information which reveals or may reveal the identity of the accused under the age of 18 years or of a witness at a criminal proceedings who is under the age of 18 years”. ↩