Rape case: Audio footage breached code

2012-06-21 22:28

Johannesburg - Audio footage broadcast of a teenage girl's gang rape contravened the Broadcasting Code, the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA (BCCSA) ruled on Thursday.

The footage, compiled by EyeWitness News (EWN) from a cellphone, was aired during a Highveld Stereo news bulletin.

Part of the 10-minute-long footage contained the rapists' dialogue. The girl's voice was audible and may have enabled listeners to identify her.

EWN had warned sensitive viewers of the item's content.

However, in giving clues to the girl's identity the broadcaster had contravened the code, the BCCSA found.

The footage probably amounted to child pornography which could not be possessed or distributed under the Film and Publications Act.

This also applied to partial distribution, including individual distribution of the visuals or audio soundtrack.


"Since this aspect was not pursued during the hearing of this matter the tribunal will not spend further time on the question as to whether the respondent [EWN] was promoting the distribution of the mobile phone footage," the tribunal's chairperson Kobus van Rooyen said in his judgment.

Nevertheless, this possibility was mentioned as a guideline to other broadcasters.

"The mere mention of the availability of child pornography on mobile phones in a specific case might amount to the promotion of a crime," he said.

As it had never before ruled on the indirect identification of sex crime victims the tribunal only reprimanded EWN for its contravention.

"However, such a contravention will, in future, probably lead to a stricter approach," Van Rooyen said.

Seven people, including four minors, were arrested in Dobsonville, Soweto, on 17 April in connection with the rape.

Charges against one of the men, aged 20, were dropped on Wednesday. Two others, aged 18 and 19, were released on bail of R1 500 each by the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court.

Two of the minors appeared with them. A third minor was not in court because he was writing school exams.

The case against them was postponed until 6 September.

A 13-year-old appeared in a separate courtroom. He was undergoing a month-long psychiatric evaluation to determine his criminal capacity.

  • carl.debeer.33 - 2012-06-21 23:13

    I can't handle this any more. The only time I can say, "I really am proud to be South African" is when I watch rugby on TV .All 80 minutes of freedom...

      frans.mosia - 2012-06-21 23:43

      True Carl these kinds of things are disgusting.

      Janice - 2012-06-22 06:54

      Bull man, this ih evidence!!!!

      lulama.njapa - 2012-06-22 07:43

      Unfortunately these things are our reality.

  • Billy - 2012-06-22 00:27

    hmmm, i dont see why this was aired in the first place. its not necessary. not being very considerate of the victim and the trauma she went through. well, i know i wouldnt want to hear that again if it was me, especially on the radio where everyone can hear it. i think an apology is in order, at least.

  • william.letsong.5 - 2012-06-22 01:49

    I wish the media can get over this s]it now. How many women and children are getting raped in SA on a daily basis? Many, now what make this one incident so special to get so much media attention? Drop it now tjo!

      tebogo.maja.77 - 2012-06-22 02:52

      Because there is actual proof with this one, the perpetrators were caught. With this case the law can actually help protect the woman and make these beasts and all those in hiding aware that what they are doing is wrong and will not be tolerated. This case has touched us and unified many against violence on woman and children, it has enlightened us to the fact that kids will follow monsters if not supervised by caring adults. A 13 year old is among this trash of people, where are this kids parents? why is he allowed to hang with 20 yr olds?. Many women are being violated as we speak, but we need a win for women, to say if it happens we will punish them and they won't get away with it.

      nkululeko.zuma.52 - 2012-06-22 06:41

      @William, don't be heartless, this is about the RAPE of an innocent, mentally disturbed and defenceless young woman. I wish the court of law can use this evidence and lock the rapists up for a very long time.

      Janice - 2012-06-22 06:55

      I think William needs to be raped!

      Msika - 2012-06-22 07:23

      And The Most Moronic Comment Of The Day Award Goes To...

  • Cassandra Eileen Olivier - 2012-06-22 06:30

    Everyday I am afraid for myself, my sister, my mother and my female friends. We shouldn't have to live in fear of getting rapped but the sad truth is we do. Bring back the death penalty for these monsters!

      marion.friedenthal - 2012-06-22 07:38

      @Cassandra - I understand where you are coming from, but lets not forget that boys and men also get raped. We need to be concerned for their safety too. The male of the species, who probably seldom reports a rape due to the shame, needs our compassion just as much as any woman who gets raped.

      Rob - 2012-06-22 07:59

      @ Cassandra....I too share your fear of " rap. "

      npretorius2 - 2012-06-22 08:01

      I agree fully! I think it takes even a sicker person to rape than to murder! Most of rapes are not sexually motivated, but motivated by violence and the false sense of power it gives the rapist. Either death penalty or at the very least castration. Studies also showed that most men who are capable of rape are capable of murder. So by taking the monster out society it will save either a person's life or at least spare someone the trauma of being violated

  • Cassandra Eileen Olivier - 2012-06-22 06:38

    Everyday I am afraid for myself, my sister, my mother and my female friends. Why must we live in fear of getting rapped? Bring back the death penalty for these monsters!

  • mdu.mhlongo - 2012-06-22 06:47

    Wat da hell has got in our country wth ths raping isues.damn now i jst think this satan

  • leslie.rabie - 2012-06-22 07:20

    Funny how they are more worried abut the Audio Footage then the rapist's walking free. What a country! No wonder we are rated in the top 10 of the unhappiest countries???

  • thembanlilitha.batyi - 2012-06-22 07:26

    Guy wat da hell iz going on geng raped cum on guyz lets men up n stand againts dis fullishness

  • marion.friedenthal - 2012-06-22 07:43

    It's a pity they didn't get more than just a rap over the knuckles. Hope the young woman's family sues them for airing her trauma. Sensationalist news reporting.

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