Outrage Over South Africa Television Broadcasting Pornography


sales geneva;”>This started in about two years ago when TopTV Company sought permission to broadcast three porn channels named Playboy TV, stomach Desire and Private Spice.

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This proposed plan sparked much debate, many people felt that having the channel could expose youngsters to explicit material and could breed a society of ‘sexually crazed perverts.’ Others believed it would increase sexual related cases in the community.

In a statement released by ICASA in April, it stated: “Icasa hereby gives notice that it has authorized On Digital Media (operating as TopTV) to broadcast the three adult content channels Playboy TV, Desire TV, and Private Spice within the watershed period.”

The Voice of the Cape released an article citing that the authorization of the application followed an extensive public consultation process which ICASA undertook prior to granting the application by On Digital Media (ODM).

ICASA defended its self saying there is no law of general application prohibiting the production and distribution of adult content in the republic. “Only the production and distribution of child pornography is expressly prohibited by law,” it stated.

Furthermore, it raised the rage of religious organisations as they criticised the approval saying it would tear at the moral fabric of society.

According to Voice of the Cape, the South Africa’s Muslim Judicial Council (MJC), found the ruling by ICASA to be “inconsistent”.

MJC spokesperson Mallick Nabeweya told the publication that the muslim body was “disappointed”, as ICASA was generally sensitive to the rights of religious and race groups and cultures.

She complained that this content from the porn channels would have impact on the rights of women. “They have not considered the worsening trend of women abuse and if ICASA is not aware of that, then we feel that they are erring on the side of ignorance,” she said.

On behalf of the MJC, Mallick further called upon the citizens for a boycott against the television company its advertising agents and sponsors. “We condemn TopTV for promoting destructive material in order to save itself from impending financial ruin,” she said.

With the boycott, Mallick thought he subscribers to TopTV should end their subscriptions since they believed screening pornography bouquet would sustain the television financially.

The Family Policy Institute (FPI) in South Africa was also greatly disappointed in ICASA ruling. According to FPI spokesperson Errol Naidoo, the institute objected the application since it first came about some two years ago.

They also supported the boycott against TopTV. Naidoo said South Africa is a nation with one of the highest rates of sexual violence against women and children, and so this decision was bound to increase gender abuse.

“Tens of thousands of children have been exposed to pornography via the internet and television and now we have growing rates of children sexually abusing other children.”

Naidoo revealed that investigations into the investors of TopTV reveal a few high-profile individuals backing the broadcaster including, the Independent Development Corporation (IDC) which is government funded, with Eskom CEO Brian Dames and Cosatu’s Zwelinzima Vavi serving as directors on the IDC.

He alleged that since the initiative is somewhat government backed as the IDC is funded by taxpayers’ money, ICASA could have been pressured into making this decision.

On May 2, 2013, The Voce of the Cape published that TopTV shareholders of ODM (On Digital Media), the owner of South African pay-TV platform TopTV, which has been in business rescue since October 2012, accepted a business rescue plan offered by Chinese company Star Times.

A TopTV statement released on 30 April reads: “Peter van den Steen, in his capacity as business rescue practitioner of TopTV, presided over a meeting today in terms of section 151 of the Companies Act No.71 of 2008, for the purpose of considering a business rescue plan incorporating a proposal by Star Communication Technology Co. Ltd (known as “Star Times”) to creditors in respect of their claims and a turnaround plan to restore TopTV to a solvent future for a minimum of the next three years (the “Rescue Plan”).

According to an article published by Huff Post World, in South Africa, statistics say someone gets raped every four minutes. Only 66,196 incidents were reported to police last year and their investigations led to only 4,500 convictions.

“If data for all violent assaults, rapes and other sexual assaults against women are taken into account, then approximately 200,000 adult women are reported as being attacked in South Africa every year,” Lerato Moloi of the South African Institute for Race Relations said.

The real figure is considerably higher, she said, because most cases are never reported.


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