Uproar over Mbau nude pics
People who post sexy pictures on social networks might be held criminally liable, the Film and Publication Board said yesterday.
The threat was made after the posting on Twitter at the weekend of photos of socialite Khanyi Mbau and her ex-boyfried, Theunis Crous in the nude.
Mbau claimed in a tweet that Crous had posted the seven pictures of her in suggestive poses in order to "destroy" her.
"Everybody has a past, and I have worked hard to steer clear from [the] negative, it is only Christ now . To my fans/followers I am sorry to have you go through this yet again ."
Crous and his wife, Primrose, denied - in a statement and on Twitter - that he had posted the "distasteful" photographs.
"We categorically deny being responsible either directly or indirectly for having posted these pictures on social networks . we intend to use whatever legal means are available to us to prevent this kind of thing from happening again and to ensure that our family and friends are protected," said Crous.
The pictures of Mbau were posted anonymously on Sunday afternoon. A photo of Crous, lying on his back and holding his private parts was posted shortly afterwards.
The pictures were immediately retweeted by large numbers of users.
In one picture, Mbau is crouched in a shower with her back to the camera and her arms spread.
In an even more provocative one, she is standing on a bed with one leg up, exposing herself.
In September, a different set of equally steamy pictures of Mbau made it onto Twitter and Facebook. Nobody owned up then either.
Media lawyer Okyerebea Ampofo-Anti, of law firm Webber Wentzel, said the responsible parties could be sued.
"Those pictures are obviously private and Khanyi Mbau and Theunis Crous can sue for the infringement of their right to privacy - if as they say the pictures were posted without their consent," she said.
If the matter were taken to a civil court, the culprit could be made to pay for damages, Ampofo-Anti said.
IT and telecoms expert Arthur Goldstuck said Twitter was "a minefield of reputational damage", and users should post only content that they would be comfortable with even their parents and children seeing.
"Twitter is very powerful, and extremely fast.
"People actually have no idea how wildly it can go. And deleting any explicit images means nothing because users can copy and post the content again," he said.
Film and Publication Board spokesman Mlimandlela Ndamase said the police would be asked to help with investigations.
Mbau failed to respond to a request for comment yesterday.