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Broadcasting porn is constitutional - TopTV

TopTV says it's within its rights to ask Icasa to grant it permission to broadcast pornography.

Top TV says it is within its constitutional rights to request that the independent communications authority grant them permission to introduce pornographic channels in its packages.
Local

SANDTON - Pay television channel TopTV says it is within its constitutional rights to request that the independent communications authority grant it permission to introduce pornographic channels in its packages.

TopTV has approached the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa (Icasa) for a second time, to be allowed to launch a bouquet of three subscription-based channels that will offer viewers a choice to view adult entertainment.

Extensive public hearings involving several organisations, including the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) and the Free Society Institute, were held at Icasa's Sandton offices on Thursday.

TopTV CEO Eddie Mbalo said South Africans are entitled to choose what they want to watch on television.

“We believe that issues of freedom of speech and freedom of choice are under attack and we hope Icasa will do the right thing.”

But Palesa Yates, a spokesperson for the ACDP, argued differently.

“Icasa has a responsibility not to promote moral degeneration – our country cannot afford it.”

Several groups have claimed there is a direct correlation between the availablity of pornography and incidents of rape.

TopTV wants to broadcast its adult content after 8PM, when minors are supposedly sleeping.

The cash-strapped channel believes the move will assist it in keeping the business running given the competitive industry.

Icasa spokesperson Paseka Maleka said the authority would review written and oral submissions and make a decision soon, although it was not clear when exactly it would be communicated.

He said if necessary, Icasa would hold further public hearings regarding the pay TV channel’s application.

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