Icasa court bid to block TopTV porn plans, hold public hearings

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) and TopTV will clash in court tomorrow (Friday, January 13) during the hearing of an urgent interdict filed by Icasa to block the pay TV broadcaster’s  pornograhy plans until a public consultation process has taken place.

TopTV Senior Manager of Regulatory Affairs Thato  Mahapa has advised the media that the broadcaster plans to launch a standalone package of three 24-hour Playboy TV hardcore porn channels on January 20. But Icasa maintains that it will only rule on the porn channels after a public hearing at its offices in Sandton, Johannesburg on Monday (January 16).

According to Mahapa since Icasa has failed to make a decision on TopTV’s porn channels application – which was made on September 13 – within the stipulated 60 days, TopTV was legally entitled to proceed with the launch.

But Icasa spokesman, Paseka Maleka, has said that although the 60-day consultation period for TopTV’s application had expired, it was illegal for the broadcaster to proceed with the launch of the porn channels.

During the scheduled public hearings on Monday Icasa intends giving those interested the opportunity to make an oral submission on why the regulator should not grant TopTV a licence to broadcast porn channels.

In a statement released today, Christian Action Network (CAN) says a representative will present the points given in its written submission, along with more information on the harm of pornography.

Dismissing TopTV’s undertaking to implement security measures to prevent children from accessing the porn, CAN says: “In no way would these porn channels be ‘in the public interest’. Porn channels with pin codes and so-called locking devices would present very little challenge to an increasingly ‘tech savvy’ generation.

“We have reports from Safeline and the Teddybear Clinic who counselled children who watched porn films screened on E-TV. Some of these children even sexually abused other children as a result.

“Pornography is as addictive and destructive as drugs. Drugs are illegal, porn should be too. We have far too much violence against women and children. The Attorney General Commission’s Report on Pornography demonstrated clear links between the availability of pornography and the incidence of rape. Pornography is the theory, rape is the practise.

“No-one would pump sewage into their living rooms. Why then should porn channels be allowed to pump immoral sewage into people’s minds?”

The public hearings will take place at 10am on Monday at the ICASA offices: Block C, Presentation Room, 164 Katherine Street, Sandton, Johannesburg. For enquiries contact: Ms Mpho Thulare: mthulare@icasa.org.za or 011 – 566 3205.

Last month Family Policy Institute director Errol Naidoo called for a boycott of TopTV because of its porn plans. He said pornography was proven to cause harm to men, women and children and exacerbated the serious rape problem in South Africa. A Muslim group has also threatened a boycott.
• You can notify TOP TV of your objection to their porn channels by emailing Digital Media and TopTV CEO, Vino Govender at acidrais@toptv.co.za and copying in Melinda Connor, the Publicity Manager at mconnor@toptv.co.za.
• You can also sign a petition to Say No to Porn On TV

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the update Andre. I was wondering what is the latest on this issue. I can’t imagine any Christian doing nothing about this. We can’t miss an opportunity to stand and fight against this evil as we did when the enacted the abortion laws.

  2. Latest news is that the court says it will rule on matter not later than Wednesday. Meanwhile public hearings will go ahead tomorrow.