ConCourt to consider film law

2012-03-12 20:45

Johannesburg - The constitutionality of amendments to the Films and Publications Act will be considered by the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

The provisions, introduced in 2010, require that publications - excluding newspapers - are approved before publication if they contain sexual conduct.

The home affairs department and the Film and Publications Board argue that the classification requirement is justifiable as it aims to educate consumers, protect children and eliminate child pornography.

Print Media SA (PMSA) and the SA National Editors' Forum (Sanef) argue that pre-publication classification should not be necessary for publications aimed at educating the public or condemning the act of sexual conduct.

The media groups are also concerned that the classification process will delay publication and increase production costs, because the act requires the entire publication to be screened and not only the contentious material.

The South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg previously found these provisions inconsistent with the Constitution.

On November 1, PMSA and Sanef argued that the act defined sexual conduct broadly.

This would require pre-screening by the films and publications board, of a wide range of media that might describe such sexual conduct without condoning it.

The court ruled then that the delays in publication caused by pre-screening would erode the currency of news and would amount to an unjustifiable limitation on the constitutional right to freedom of expression.

On Tuesday, the Justice Alliance of SA and media freedom advocacy group Section 16 join the proceedings as friends of the court.

  • Peter - 2012-03-12 20:54

    Another case of back to the authoritarian past of pre-1990. "When will they ever learn ......?"

      Badgerspoon - 2012-03-12 21:05

      @Peter - Too true. We seem to be becoming more conservative as time goes on. Bloody insane.

      zaatheist - 2012-03-13 04:19

      Yeah. As each day passes they look more and more like the grand old Nationalist Party.

      Tony - 2012-03-13 05:47

      Interesting comments, .... I remember someone from a township saying that we have simply replaced a white nationalist government with a black nationalist government, for him nothing has changed except the faces in government.... Seems like he was right.

  • Cilla - 2012-03-12 21:14

    I'd be thrilled if they brought in some stricter laws. I am so sick of blasphemy and filthy language. They don't seem to make movies without any of those and sex, sex, sex.

      michael.a.devilliers - 2012-03-12 22:23

      I'm sick of people pushing THEIR views upon others. If you don't like it - change the channel, or better yet, TURN IT OFF!

      zaatheist - 2012-03-13 04:27

      @Mabel Here we go again. Blasphemy is a victimless crime. Anytime someone says you can’t criticize their beliefs, it’s because their beliefs are too weak to withstand scrutiny. Why are you sky fairy believers so obsessed with sex? Obviously graphic gratuitous violence is fine but people enjoying sex together is a no-no. How creepy. What is wrong with you guys that you have such a twisted world view? You should pay less attention to who some people sleep with and more attention to how little some of them have to eat. The Christian view that all intercourse outside marriage is immoral was, based upon the view that all sexual intercourse, even within marriage, is regrettable. A view of this sort, which goes against biological facts, can only be regarded by sane people as a morbid aberration. The fact that it is embedded in Christian ethics has made Christianity throughout its whole history a force tending towards mental disorders and unwholesome views of life. -Bertrand Russell-

      zaatheist - 2012-03-13 05:34

      Oh, and Mabel: no one has the right to not be offended. I understand some people feel sad when they see a figure they were taught as a child to revere, whether Prophet or Pope, being subjected to rational examination, or mockery, or criminal investigation. But everyone has ideas they hold precious. Only you, the religious, demand to be protected from debate or scrutiny that might discomfort you. The fact you believe an invisible supernatural being approves of, or even commands, your behaviour doesn't mean it deserves more respect, or sensitive handling. It means it deserves less. If you base your behaviour on such a preposterous fantasy, you should expect to be checked by criticism and mockery. You need it. If the mocking of your god offends to then why don't you get down on your knees and beg him to do something about it? He is all powerful after all and you guys claim he listens to and acts upon prayers from billions of people every day. Is it perhaps because you know that prayer is a futile waste of energy as nothing will happen? That ultimately this god is useless? A figment of your vivid imagination?

      Tony - 2012-03-13 05:55

      Religion has nothing to do with it. I don't particularly enjoy certain types of books, movies or music. I certainly don't expose my kids to these either, but ... That does not give me the right to decide for everyone else. If I were allowed to force my beliefs onto others, then they have the right to do the same back to me. I say live and let live. Apart from that, the ANC ram the word "freedom" down our necks at every opportunity, but are doing a good job of taking it away at the moment ... What with this, the secrecy bill, the media tribunal,

      zaatheist - 2012-03-13 08:09

      @Tony Religion has everything to do with it. Ask Mabel, who also would obviously like blasphemy to be declared illegal along with all depictions of people having making love and smiling at the same time.

      Modefan - 2012-03-13 08:14

      And all those Special Effects in those movies! Dont they know that special effects comes from the Devil! In fact they should stop acting in those movies. Acting is actually a form of lying and as we all know....lies are from the Devil!

      Tony - 2012-03-13 10:28

      I don't believe Mabel used the word religion at all in her comment, nor implied any religious belief.... Unless I missedi it in the text?

  • tracy.morland - 2012-03-13 10:44

    Yawn ! In general, considering the amount of people on this planet, modern day technology & availablilty .... the world is getting more sexually explict as we speak, yet they still wish to try "curb" everything .... Kids know more than we do ! Go figure

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