Johannesburg – Police spokesman Captain Daniel Mavimbela stated that the posting of pictures of suspects on social media can come with severe consequences.
The public has been warned against posting photos of suspected criminals on social media or the internet.
This message was brought by the police following the incident in which snapshots of CCTV footage of a suspected car thief were posted on social media.
“The continued reckless publishing of photographs of arrested suspects and or wanted persons especially on social media can have severe consequences,” said the police spokesman, Captain Daniel Mavimbela.
According to Mavimbela, in a recent case a man was wrongfully accused after a prejudicial identity parade since the pictures were released on social media.
“Therefore, not only does this practice jeopardise investigation of cases, people could also end up in prison or with criminal records, wittingly or unwittingly,” He added.
The SAPC Act of 1995 states that no person may, without the written permission of the national of provincial commissioner, publish a photograph or sketch of a person who is suspected of having committed an offence.”
In cases like these, whether or not the person in the picture is guilty, the law will charge offence to the person who publishes the content to social media and may face imprisonment.