Social media shocked by BCCSA ruling on interview with rapist Nicholas Ninow’s mom

07 November 2019 - 10:13 By Unathi Nkanjeni
Convicted rapist Nicholas Ninow.
Convicted rapist Nicholas Ninow.
Image: Alaister Russell

The dismissal of complaints against the SABC for their interview with convicted child rapist Nicholas Ninow's mother has been met with outrage on social media.

The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) on Wednesday dismissed the complaints and ruled that the broadcaster did not violate its code when the interview was aired.

The commission said it had received at least 550 complaints against the broadcaster for airing the segment on October 27.

In the exclusive interview, Chantelle Ninow defended her son, saying he had made a mistake and was not a rapist. She also blamed herself for how her son turned out and regretted not helping him to overcome his drug addiction.

TimesLIVE reported that some of the complaints submitted to the BCCSA included “the glamourisation of violence and the advocacy of hatred based on race and gender”.

The complainants said the interview sought to solicit sympathy for the convicted rapist and his family and, in the process, insulted the rape victim and her family.

“The complainants contend further that the broadcast amounted to 'white privilege', in that crimes committed by white people are 'humanised'," said the BCCSA.

“Although the immensity of the complaints is noted, the BCCSA does not consider petitioned complaints but instead deals with complaints directly from affected persons or duly represented persons, whether natural or juristic.”

The SABC welcomed the BCCSA's ruling, saying it was “an affirmation of SABC News’s commitment to uphold its editorial policy, and the BCCSA code of conduct, in delivering news and current affairs in an independent and impartial manner".

The ruling divided social media.

Here are some of the reactions: