Women'sNet calls for action against the filming of violence against women and girls in South Africa
By Women'sNet for Women'sNet
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 19 November 2010
On 4 November 2010, a fifteen year-old girl was allegedly gang-raped by two boys, aged 14 and 16, at a school east of Johannesburg. The alleged rape happened in front of other students who filmed the incident on their mobile phones.
Glaring Gaps in the Implementation of the Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, No. 32 of 2007
JOHANNESBURG – Women’sNet calls on the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to act against those involved in filming the alleged gang rape of the schoolgirl in Jules high school, 04 November 2010.
We observe with shock the selective implementation of the Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, No. 32 of 2007, which clearly states as offence the creation of child pornography.
According to media reports this incident was filmed using cellphones, which under the Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, No. 32 of 2007 amounts to criminal offence. The act of filming and distributing this incident further takes the offence to online spaces where the video is now easily accessible to a wider audience.
The potential repercussions of the distribution of this video, both in terms of the impact that child pornographic materials have in perpetuating gender-based violence and other forms of discrimination that the learners filmed will suffer, are far and wide reaching.
The use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) as weapons in cases of violence against women continues to threaten the struggle to combat gender based violence.
It is clear that further distribution of this video must be curbed and that those responsible for its creation and distribution/sale must be brought to book. The implementation of Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, No. 32 of 2007 must keep up with the new
technology weapons used by perpetrators.
We call for all South Africans to Act by deleting any materials depicting child pornography and to not forward any such materials.
Women’sNet is a feminist organisation that works to advance gender equality and justice in South Africa through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). We provide training and facilitate content dissemination and creation that supports women, girls, and
women’s and gender organisations and networks to take control of their own content and ICT use.
To find out more about this issue, download APC’s brief, “How Technology is Being Used to Perpetrate Violence Against Women – And to Fight it”:http://www.apc.org/en/node/11452.