DA exploring options against Inxeba censorship

Please find attached a soundbite by the DA Shadow Minister of Communications, Phumzile Van Damme MP.
The DA  rejects the Film and Publications Board’s (FPB) Appeal Tribunal’s report on the reasoning behind the decision to reclassify the film Inxeba to a rating of X18.
The report has stated that “The target market, which in our view is the 16years old is not reasonable familiar with the practises of initiation schools as described by the appellants [and that] preexposure to such acts of sexual conduct is harmful and disturbing to this age group.”
Furthermore the report states that: “The following classifiable elements were agreed to by classification committee, i.e language which is frequent and moderate to story. The violence is mild to moderate and fairly frequent. The nudity is low impact and infrequent. Sexual related activity inclusive of anal and oral sex were found to be mild to moderate impact and fairly frequent.”
These are simply not sufficient reasons to give Inxeba such a harsh rating and the FPB can be assured that this decision will not go unchallenged.
The DA is currently exploring our options to fight what is a violations of the Constitutional right of freedom of  expression, including artistic creativity.
The FPB’s rating is nothing short of censorship.
The producers of this film have been brave in exploring daring and important themes and stories, that many others have been too afraid to explore. The DA commends their bravery and we will explore every option to ensure that every South African con watch Inxeba at cinemas across the country.

Inxeba X18 rating is nothing short of censorship

Please find attached a soundbite by the DA Shadow Minister of Communications, Phumzile Van Damme MP.  
The DA strongly condemns the Film and Publication Board (FPB) Appeal Tribunal’s decision re-classify the film Inxeba to a rating of X18.
X18 is one of the most severe ratings a film or publication can receive, one step away from an outright ban.
The X18 rating means that the film can only be “distributed from designated adult premises” and “cannot be screened in cinemas or any other platform that is not a designated adult premise as defined by the Film and Publications Act no 96 of 1996”.
This means that the film will have to be pulled from cinemas and only allowed to be shown at stores with licenses to distribute pornographic material.
We encourage the producers of Inxeba to fight, fight, fight, all the way to the highest court in the land by urgently taking this decision on review.
It is a shame that the FPB’s Appeal Tribunal buckled to pressure from patriarchs and homophobes, instead of siding with the Constitution, the supreme law of the land.
Section 16 of our Constitution’s Bill of Rights expresses everyone’s right to freedom of expression, this includes the freedom to receive or impart information or ideas as well as freedom of artistic creativity.
This decision by the FPB is not in the best interest of the public, but rather an attempt to preserve patriarchal ideas of masculinity and tradition.
Inxeba challenges outdated ideas pertaining to manhood, homosexuality, initiation and cultural practices. The producers of this film have been brave in bringing this film to life and we have the responsibility to protect their Constitutional and artistic freedoms.
The DA stands with the producers of Inxeba and encourage them to stand firm against this blatant attempt by patriarchs to silence them.

The DA strongly condemns the violence and intimidation over Inxeba film

 The DA strongly condemns the violence and intimidation around the screening of the film Inxeba at cinemas in South Africa.

We appreciate the strong views of those against the airing of the film. However, in debates such as these the values that underpin the exercise of our hard-won constitutional rights should always be the guiding and determining principle.

The film does not in any way curtail the exercise of cultural rights. Nor has it in any way ridiculed or disrespected the IsiXhosa cultural practice of ulwaluko.

Even if it did, that would not be grounds for it to be banned.

In a constitutional democracy all cultural practices should be up for open discussion, none are static and off-limits for debate.

Those calling for the banning of  Inxeba, and threatening violence against cinemas screening the film, infringe on the right to artistic and creative expression as enshrined in section 16 of our Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

Inxeba has been classified by the Classification Committee of the Film and Publication Board (FPB) as 16LS based on the mature nature of the scenes involving cultural practices, manhood, homosexuality, initiation as if customary for bodies of work like this.

The DA urges the FPB not to bow to pressure from some quarters to ban the film.

The DA commends the intrepid spirit of the film’s producers and the cast to tell an authentic South African story of love without fear.

The FPB should stick to their position and not let constantly changing public opinion derail the intent of this production.

A to-do list for the new Communications Minister

As the third Communications Minister in 7 months, Mmamoloko Kubayi now faces the monumental task of bringing much-needed stability to the various entities of her department, almost all of which face serious governance and financial crises.
With the experience and knowledge gained as the former Chairperson of Parliament’s Telecommunications and Postal Services portfolio committee, Kubayi will have no choice but to hit the ground running.
First on her agenda will be working hand in hand with the newly appointed SABC board to address issues raised by staff last week, in order to prevent imminent strike action and keep the public broadcaster on air.
Other key issues Minister Kubayi will have to urgently address, include:

  • Full disclosure to Parliament and the public of the application submitted to National Treasury for a R3 billion bail-out for the SABC;
  • Appointment of the SABC’s top executives according to the prescripts of the Broadcasting Act and the SABC Charter;
  • Scrapping the SABC’s problematic Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI);
  • Recommending to the President the immediate suspension of Media Diversity and Development Agency (MDDA) Chairperson, Phelisa Nkomo, who has been implicated in serious financial mismanagement at the entity;
  • Appointing permanent top management at the MDDA, Films and Publications Board (FPB), and the Government Communications and Information Systems (GCIS); and
  • Investigating the suspension, withdrawing of charges and full payouts to the former CEOs of the FPB and ICASA.

Minister Kubayi has the opportunity to demonstrate to prove South Africa wrong that all she is an enforcer of President Jacob Zuma by tackling without fear or favour the issues facing her department and its entities.
We trust that she will be a responsive, communicative, hard-working, fearless Minister, or we will have no choice but to push for it to be goodbye, Kubayi.