Home Affairs in drive to ban pornography

THE Department of Home Affairs wants pornography banned and will take the proposal to Parliament next month.

Deputy Minister Malusi Gigaba announced this at the launch of the Anti-Child Pornography campaign in Soweto on Friday.

"No matter what people might say, we are going the legislative direction in this regard," he said.

The campaign with slogans such as "Think before you send your picture" and "Say no to pornography", is headed by the Film and Publication Board, which is a public entity under Home Affairs.

Gigaba lashed out at the justice system for the recent release of Dries van Heerden, a Pretoria wrestling coach who was given a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography.

"Recently a very dangerous man was released into the community, a paedophile who is also a coach.

"He took advantage of the trust of parents and innocent children and in the end was released just out of sheer ignorance," he said.

The department said the campaign was not specifically related to the World Cup.

But Gigaba said the tournament elevated the need for the campaign since it would attract people from all over the world, among them paedophiles.

"We must not think that paedophiles will come with the World Cup. Some are here in our midst," he said.

"The campaign will not be limited to the tournament. It is a year-long initiative to empower parents and children to be alert.

"We intend to profile a zero tolerance approach to child pornography."

More than 1000 schoolchildren from around Soweto attended the event.