Possessing gang rape video a crime
Johannesburg - Possessing or distributing a video of the gang rape of a 17-year-old missing girl is a criminal offence, the Film and Publication Board said on Wednesday.
"The 'rape video' is said to contain explicit sexual images of a minor, unwillingly involved in an act of sexual violence perpetrated by seven males," CEO Yoliswa Makhasi said in a statement.
Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela said the girl, who was reported missing in Soweto on March 25, was raped last week by at least seven males.
The video, taken by someone on a cellphone, has reportedly gone viral and was one of the main topics trending on social networking site Twitter.
Extra charge for rapists
Makhubela said five men and two minors were arrested in Dobsonville on Tuesday.
"In terms of the Films and Publications Act, minors may not be used or featured in pornographic content and the creation, possession and distribution of child pornography is illegal," said Makhasi.
She said she would also approach the prosecutors in the case to ask them to charge the men for creating and distributing child pornography.
"We also urge the media not to publish links or explicit images emanating from the 'rape video' in this regard," she said.
Minister of Woman, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana has condemned the act and said the distribution of pornographic material was a criminal offence.
"In addition to the painful ordeal of rape the young woman was forced to endure, she is now subjected to a second assault on her dignity," said Xingwana in a statement.
She said she was confident that the justice system would impose the harshest possible sentence on those who had committed the crime.
The department’s spokesperson Cornelius Tanana Monama told News24 that it was working with various ministries such as social development and the police to raise certain issues.
Monama said the ministry is also pushing for harsher sentences for those committing gender-based crimes.