Kids could be vulnerable to porn channel, says Gigaba

RELUCTANT: Deputy Minister Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba. Pic. ANTONIO MUCHAVE. 22/02/2010. © Sowetan. 

20100222AMU/NEWS. Malusi Gigaba, Home affairs deputy. minister duting the Human Trafficking conference at Boksburg in Ekurhuleni. PHOTO : ANTONIO MUCHAVE .
RELUCTANT: Deputy Minister Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba. Pic. ANTONIO MUCHAVE. 22/02/2010. © Sowetan. 20100222AMU/NEWS. Malusi Gigaba, Home affairs deputy. minister duting the Human Trafficking conference at Boksburg in Ekurhuleni. PHOTO : ANTONIO MUCHAVE .

The Department of Home Affairs says it would be irresponsible for MultiChoice to create a channel for pornography.

The Department of Home Affairs says it would be irresponsible for MultiChoice to create a channel for pornography.

This followed reports that MultiChoice was considering a channel with an adult content for its subscriber-based DStv bouquets.

Though the department does not regulate broadcasters, it said it had a "moral responsibility to protect children" from exposure to adult content.

"We don't want a society where pornography is readily available to children," said the department's spokesperson Bayanda Mzoneli.

Mzoneli said the Act considered the viewing of child pornography and the exposure of children to pornography criminal offences.

On Monday he Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba said a "clear relationship" existed between pornography and the abuse of women and children.

The department classifies and regulates films, DVDs and other publications through its statutory board, the Film and Publications Board, and the Film and Publications Amendment Act.MultiChoice's general manager of corporate affairs Jackie Rakitla said the broadcaster was conducting research to "establish the extent of interest and feasibility" of such a channel following "a number of requests from some of our subscribers".

"If launched, MultiChoice will ensure all the necessary safeguards are in place to prevent young viewers from accessing content of an adult nature," Rakitla said.

Its broadcasting options could see the screening of hardcore and soft pornography at different times, hardcore porn 24 hours a day, or soft porn 24 hours a day on DStv.

According to the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa's Code of Conduct, a holder of a subscription broadcasting services licence may not broadcast material containing child pornography, bestiality, rape, explicit violent sexual conduct that violates the right to dignity and that could incite harm or violence.

The code also has a watershed period between 8pm and 5am that regulates the time that programming considered inappropriate for children may not be broadcast.

Independent Communications Authority of South Africa spokesperson Paseka Maleka said MultiChoice was required to apply to the body for authorisation of the channel.

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