Cape Town – SABC2 "humbly apologises" to viewers over its 7de Laan soap and the graphic violence and inappropriate language shown during episodes in February, and admits that it failed to warn viewers properly.
The SABC2 apology comes after the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) again found that 7de Laan, produced by Danie Odendaal Productions, and SABC2 were found to have breached the broadcasters’ code of conduct – this time with a two episode hostage drama shown in February.
Following viewers' complaints, the BCCSA earlier this month slammed SABC2 and the predominantly Afrikaans weekday soap on the channel in its judgment, finding that the violent hostage drama depicted in Oppiekoffie in 7de Laan in February was unsuitable for the timeslot and that SABC2 and the soap failed to provide viewers with adequate warning.
The BCCSA says 7de Laan was "too explicit" in what it showed during the 18:30 timeslot – the second time 7de Laan was reprimanded for too explicit violence.
The BCCSA found that 7de Laan on SABC2 showed "graphic and explicit scenes" of "repetitive, multiple instances of pointing guns in a threatening manner", verbal abuse and unwelcome suggestions of a sexual nature, a hostage bleeding profusely, the traumatised mother of a crying baby who was taken by an attacker, and a character suffering a heart attack.
"Family viewing time, when large numbers of children are part of the audience, is not the appropriate time to highlight issues such as hostage dramas where injury and the death of innocent people occur," the BCCSA ruled.
"In light of the public complaints following the broadcast of the 7de Laan hostage drama scenes on SABC2 in February, the SABC humbly apologises to viewers who may have been offended by the aforementioned scenes," says SABC2.
SABC2: We did not provide sufficient warning
"We acknowledge that we did not provide sufficient warning regarding the violent scenes to our viewers. We further assure our viewers that 7de Laan reflects family values and remains a soap that is suitable for family viewing," says SABC2.
The BCCSA ordered 7de Laan and SABC2 to broadcast a lengthy on-screen statement, as well as an accompanying voice-over telling viewers that 7de Laan and the channel had erred in broadcasting explicit violence in an unsuitable family viewing timeslot with an inadequate warning.
Three years ago in June 2012 the BCCSA found that SABC2 and 7de Laan crossed the line with a too explicit portrayal of attempted suicide and the events depicted too graphic for the timeslot.
SABC2 and 7de Laan were then issued with a reprimand and the broadcaster cautioned to be even more careful with material that is broadcast during family time.
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