A Film and Publication Board (FPB) ruling
that a website has the right to publish graphic
images of botched traditional circumcisions was upheld by the Appeal
This was after the Community Development
Foundation for SA (Codefsa) filed an appeal application last week after the FPB
ruled that Dutch doctor Dingeman Rijken's website was a "bona fide
scientific publication with great educative value".
The FPB gave the website,
www.ulwaluko.co.za, a rating of 13N, meaning it showed nudity and was only
suitable for people older than 13. The website contains photographs of the
penises of initiates who fell victim to botched circumcisions.
The Appeal Tribunal's interim decision
reaffirmed the FPB's rating of 13N.
It ruled that the website must display the
FPB's logo indicating that people under age 13 were not permitted to view the
Website must display warning
The website's landing page had to display
this warning: "Some people because of cultural or other sensitivities may
find the pictures appearing on this website to be offensive or
The full reasons behind the Appeal
Tribunal's findings would be released at a later stage. Codefsa complained that
the website's images were pornographic, compromised doctor-patient confidentiality
and prejudiced and violated the cultural rights of black people.
Curbing deaths and mutilations
Rijken said in an e-mail:
"Contralesa has contacted me... to request for a meeting to discuss a way
forward, which I am very happy about."
He said he would be willing to take the
photographs off the website provided "they come up with an adequate plan
to curb deaths and mutilations".
Rijken previously said he had received
consent for each photograph posted on the website, and that the deaths and
mutilations undermined customs and violated cultural rights. He said it was
preposterous to equate pictures of mutilated penises with pornography.
Graphic circumcision website causes furore
Website may publish graphic circumcision images