Controversial Award-winning South African film – “Inxeba” reclassification as pornography has been overturned by the High Court in Pretoria.

The movie which had earlier been rated 16SLN was faced with a court hearing where Judge Joseph Raulinga had said “Inxeba includes language that was degrading to Xhosa women and further exposes women to societal violence, such as rape. It contains harmful scenes that 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”.

But after the court hearing, these accusations were overturned; as the judge indicated that the filmmakers were not given a fair and lawful right to argue the film’s reclassification.

The Judge emphasized that there has to be a balancing of two opposing ideas; cultural rights and dignity of the Xhosa people and the “Inxeba” filmmakers’ rights to freedom of expression .

However, the traditional leaders and other bodies have maintained that “Inxeba” contains harmful scenes and distorts traditional practices and as such should be classified as a pornographic film.

Kgosi Mokwena, president of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa), said: “As Contralesa, we respect the rule of law and we accept what the court has decided. But we are not at all happy. We were expecting another version from a court that understands the issues. This ruling disregards African customary law. It seems the Roman Dutch legal system will continue to rule against our black culture. We will continue the fight to be recognised.”

Recall that Inxeba has won 19 and gotten several nominations from film festivals worldwide.


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