Inxeba porn rating overturned‚ but judge says movie does violate rights of Xhosa people

PRETORIA- The Pretoria High Court has ruled that award winning movie Inxeba porno classification has been overturned on the grounds of procedurally unfair and unlawful.

In his judgement Judge Joseph Raulinga ruled the movie did violate the rights of Xhosa people which depicts a homosexual relationship between two men at an initiation school‚

He said, “if cultural beliefs and practices are to be considered‚ the film is harmful and disturbing and exposes 16-year-olds to the sexual conduct depicted in the film”.

“The film included language which was degrading to Xhosa women and further exposes women to societal violence such as rape. It contains harmful scenes which could cause tensions within the Xhosa community and even within the broader African community. By implication it has an effect on the rights of the Xhosa traditional group‚” he said.

Judge Raulinga stressed throughout his judgement that the filmmakers’ rights to freedom of expression could not override the rights to dignity of Xhosa people.

He further said, “This application concerns the balancing of two parallel equations . . . the right to cultural rights and the right to freedom of expression‚ and the need to balance the right to freedom of expression with cultural rights,”

“The ritual of initiation and circumcision is central to the Xhosa people‚ to their very existence and identity. The practice . . . is a right of passage to manhood and fatherhood.

“Initiation or circumcision is strongly believed to be sacred‚ not only by the amaXhosa‚ but by the majority of African people in South Africa‚ and elsewhere in other African countries.

“Sexual intercourse is a taboo subject in the context of initiation‚ which should not even be spoken about‚ let alone practiced. It contradicts the idea of ritual purity‚ which is the cornerstone of circumcision.”

Even though the judge considered his beliefs in his statement he however did find that the Film and Pubications Appeals Board to reclassify the movie a porno was unlawful and procedurally unfair. He went on to say that the decision to not allow the producers a chance to give their arguments, “were given no proper opportunity to participate in the decision and no proper opportunity to influence the outcome of the decision”.

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