Cyber Crime in South Africa – Hacking, cracking, and other unlawful online activities




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2.3 Child Pornography
Crimes such as possession and distribution of child pornography can be prosecuted in terms of the Films and Publications Act, Act 65 of 1996 which defines ‘publication as:

‘(i) any message or communication, including visual presentation, placed on any distributed network including, but not confined to , to the internet’.



The application of the previously codified and common law crimes was sometimes regarded as an academic expedition and caused great uncertainty as courts and prosecutors were not keen to do adventurous prosecutions. Gordon sates that in 1998 the then Eastern Cape Attorney General was loath to prosecute a man who had placed child pornography in his website as the said Act was not in force. This caused a general outcry in the community and the legislature was forced to bring the said Act into force in order to fill in the lacunae that were existed in the law. (Gordon, 2000, p.439) In terms of section 27 (1) and section 28 of the said legislation if anyone creates, produces, imports or is in possession of a publication or film which contains scenes of child pornography, he shall be guilty of an offense.1 Gordon also notes that the Act may also extend to ‘pseudo-pornography’ as found in animated pornography (Gordon, 2000, p.439). Sections 25 and 26 also prohibit the decimation of child pornography in films or publications respectively.


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Cyber Crime in South Africa – Hacking, cracking, and other unlawful online activities

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