Johannesburg — Possessing or distributing a video of the gang rape of a 17-year-old missing girl is a criminal offence, the Film and Publication Board said on Wednesday.
"The 'rape video' is said to contain explicit sexual images of a minor, unwillingly involved in an act of sexual violence perpetrated by seven males," CEO Yoliswa Makhasi said in a statement.
Police spokesman Warrant Officer Kay Makhubele said the girl, who was reported missing in Soweto on March 25, was raped last week by at least seven males.
The video, taken by someone on a cellphone, has reportedly gone viral and was one of the main topics trending on social networking site Twitter.
Makhubele said five men and two minors were arrested in Dobsonville on Tuesday.
"In terms of the Films and Publications Act, minors may not be used or featured in pornographic content and the creation, possession and distribution of child pornography is illegal," said Makhasi.
She said she would also approach the prosecutors in the case to ask them to charge the men for creating and distributing child pornography.
"We also urge the media not to publish links or explicit images emanating from the 'rape video' in this regard," she said.
Minister of Woman, Children and People Lulu Xingwana has condemned the act and said the distribution of pornographic material was a criminal offence.
"In addition to the painful ordeal of rape the young woman was forced to endure, she is now subjected to a second assault on her dignity," said Xingwana in a statement.
She said she was confident that the justice system would impose the harshest possible sentence on those who had committed the crime.