Banning of the film Inxeba would be wrong - Phumzile van Damme

DA strongly condemns violence and intimidation around screening of the movie

The DA strongly condemns the violence and intimidation over Inxeba film

The DA strongly condemns the violence and intimidation around the screening of the film Inxeba at cinemas in South Africa.

We appreciate the strong views of those against the airing of the film. However, in debates such as these the values that underpin the exercise of our hard-won constitutional rights should always be the guiding and determining principle.

The film does not in any way curtail the exercise of cultural rights. Nor has it in any way ridiculed or disrespected the IsiXhosa cultural practice of ulwaluko.

Even if it did, that would not be grounds for it to be banned.

In a constitutional democracy all cultural practices should be up for open discussion, none are static and off-limits for debate.

Those calling for the banning of  Inxeba, and threatening violence against cinemas screening the film, infringe on the right to artistic and creative expression as enshrined in section 16 of our Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

Inxeba has been classified by the Classification Committee of the Film and Publication Board (FPB) as 16LS based on the mature nature of the scenes involving cultural practices, manhood, homosexuality, initiation as if customary for bodies of work like this.

The DA urges the FPB not to bow to pressure from some quarters to ban the film.

The DA commends the intrepid spirit of the film’s producers and the cast to tell an authentic South African story of love without fear.

The FPB should stick to their position and not let constantly changing public opinion derail the intent of this production.

Statement issued by Phumzile Van Damme MP, DA Shadow Minister of Communications, 4 February 2018