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Child caught on camera 'drinking' in OPW episode raises public ire

By Sowetan LIVE | 2017-02-28 13:01:44.0

Sunday's episode of OPW featured a prepubescent child drinking from a can of beer.

This occurred while host Thembisa Mdoda was interviewing  the show's subject. A group of children who appeared fascinated by the cameras gathered close by.

In their midst one child raised a Castle Lite beer can and took a sip. The audience at home was quick to point out the child's actions on social media. 

People were outraged and questioned whether the production team had seen what had happened.  Alcohol brand Castle Lite SA released a statement stating that they do not condone underage drinking.

As Castle Lite we are deeply concerned to have sen underage drinking of our product on the popular Sunday Night TV Show - Our Perfect Wedding.

Castle Lite is a responsible brand that actively promotes responsible drinking.

We do not condone underage drinking this is never acceptable. The statement read.

Underage drinking is a problem in South African society. According to a 2015 study by the University of Limpopo published in the African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine, 35.5% of male and 29.7% of female learners consume alcohol.  

In an effort to curb this government has proposed a bill to raise the drinking age from 18 to 21. Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies released the National Liquor Amendment Bill of 2016 for public consultation in October last year as part of government's efforts to reduce alcohol abuse in the country.

Nondumiso Mabece, head of M-Net’s public relations for local entertainment channels, told the Daily Sun  that the broadcaster does not condone underage drinking.

 “We are aware of the images on social media and would like to state that Mzansi Magic does not condone underage drinking.”

This is not the first time the OPW show has caused social outrage. In 2016 the show lost sponsors Vodacom and Absa after airing a controversial episode.

The episode featured a couple who met when the bride was 14 and the groom 28.

The groom admitted he had been targeting young girls for sex and subsequently met her. The show was accused of condoning or promoting statutory rape.

The BCCSA received a complaint about the episode and it had been the subject of ire for a lot of the viewing audience.