21 January 2018, Centurion. The Film and Publication Board (FPB) acknowledges several complaints received from various organisations and interested parties on the film Inxeba: The Wound. The FPB has also received written communication from the Commission for the Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission) based on complaints they had received on the film Inxeba: The Wound. The complaints received are based on the perceived cultural insensitivity and distortion of the Xhosa Circumcision tradition (Ulwaluko) in the film.

A Classification process of the FPB rated the movie in July 2017 and the movie was rated 16 accompanied by consumer advisories stating that the movie contains scenes with strong Language, Sex, and Nudity (16 LSN). The CRL Rights Commission has written a letter recommending that FPB consider increasing the age rating allocated to the movie to 18, and they have listed a number of reasons to support their proposal.

It is important for the public to note that decisions of the FPB’s Classification Committee cannot be changed through any other procedure but through the FPB Appeals Tribunal. Appeals can only be heard 30 days after a Classification decision has been made. To assist in this matter, the FPB Management has written a letter to the Appeal Tribunal Chairperson highlighting concerns that have been raised and to request the Tribunal to consider the matter. The Chairperson of the Appeals Tribunal in consultation with the other members has subsequently agreed to hear the appeal. A date for consideration of the appeal is still to be set by the Appeals Tribunal.

It is worth noting that the Appeal process will not halt the launch of the film on the 02nd of February 2018 in South Africa provided the allocated classification rating of 16LS is utilized. Restricting the launch of the film would be a direct contravention to Section 16 of the South African Constitution as well as the provisions of the Films and Publication Act No.96 of 1996 as amended.

“The FPB is mandated to classify all films, games and certain publications to ensure material distributed in South Africa is labeled with age ratings and consumer advisories. The main purpose of the age ratings and consumer advisories is to ensure consumers are aware of the content contained in the material and to ensure that children and sensitive viewers are not prematurely exposed to material they may not be able to comprehend”, says Mr. Sandile Nene, FPB’s Acting Chief Executive Officer.

He continues to say, “We are currently undergoing a process of reviewing the current Classification Guidelines and are considering how classification decisions could contain greater cultural empathy. This could ensure that material which could be offensive to certain cultural groups is identified and appropriately labeled. The analysis of the cultural aspect is for the first time included in the discussion document to be published before the end of February 2018”.

The FPB will be holding public consultations across the country from February to March 2018 and we welcome the public’s input on the discussion document. It should be noted that the mandate of the FPB specifies that Classification Guidelines need to be developed to ensure that the material is classified in line with South Africa’s societal values and norms. More information on the public consultations will be made available on our website.

ENDS

For more information and media enquiries contact:
Miss Manala Botolo
Acting Manager Communications and Public Education
Email: manala.botolo@fpb.org.za
Mobile:  082 860 6748
Tel:   012 003 1400

For media interviews contact:
Ms Abongile Mashele
Acting Chief Operations Officer
Email: abongile.mashele@fpb.org.za
Mobile: 084 707 6687
Tel: 012 003 1400

Notes to the editor

The objective of the Act of 1996 is to regulate the creation, production, possession and distribution of films, games and certain publications, and more recently certain online content. This is done to provide consumer advice to enable adults to make informed viewing, reading and gaming choices for themselves and children in their care; to protect children from exposure to disturbing and harmful material and from premature exposure to adult experiences, and to make the use of children in, and the exposure of children to pornography, punishable.

Paramount to the mandate of the FPB is the protection of children. Protecting children under the Act is a proportional balancing of the rights afforded in the South African Constitution and Bill of Rights against the right of the child. The protection of children as enshrined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights includes physical, mental, emotional, spiritual or moral harm to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation. It further ensures that children’s best interest is of paramount importance in every matter concerning a child.

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