News October 29, 2018 at 11:00 am

Chaos and blackmail as sex tape of South African minister leaks on social media

Mildred Europa Taylor | Head of Content

Mildred Europa Taylor October 29, 2018 at 11:00 am

October 29, 2018 at 11:00 am | News

Home Affairs minister Malusi Gigaba --- Mail & Guardian

Over the weekend, a video containing sexually explicit material of a former South African minister got leaked on social media, particularly among political figures. It elicited shock and anger, with many South Africans demanding to know how such a content got distributed.

The former minister, Malusi Gigaba, came out on Sunday to confirm that the video was his, saying that it was leaked after his phone was hacked by “state security agents.” He added that the video, which was meant for him and his wife is now being used as blackmail.

“Several started demanding from around April an amount of 10m rand ($690,000, £540,000) in cash.

“When it became clear that he was really not interested in entertaining these blackmail demands the call now began to demand that he intervenes in various state entities,” Vuyo Mkhize, the spokesperson of the former finance minister was quoted by the public broadcaster SABC.

Gigaba, now Home Affairs minister, was taken to the finance ministry in March last year after former President Jacob Zuma sacked Pravin Gordhan. Though he did not disclose the nature of the blackmail demands, the minister said the matter is being investigated by law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

He has, however, apologized to the general public and his family for the “pain and embarrassment” caused.

In a series of tweets, he said:

This is not the first time the minister has been entangled in sexual controversy. In January 2016, his wife Norma Gigaba confirmed he had been having an affair with New York-based stylist Buhle Mkhize, according to Sky News.

Gigaba, whose first marriage ended in divorce, has, however, said that the recent development was a privacy issue, a view that has been held by many, including lawyer and social media expert Emma Sadleir, who has told South African media, News24 that it is a criminal offence to share sexual content without the consent of the person in the material.

She explained that “this is a clear infringement of privacy and that case law exists to show that there is no public interest in disseminating such content.”

Her comments come in the wake of complaints about the lack of privacy laws in most African countries to deal with people who redistribute someone’s personal sex videos.

Though sex tapes are sometimes recorded as part of a publicity stunt, it has become more of revenge porn, which portrays sexually explicit materials of one or more people without their consent via various media.

Even though in several western states there are privacy laws to curb this unfortunate trend, such laws are largely non-existent in Africa.

Early this year, a viral video of a Kenyan deputy governor allegedly in bed with a married woman elicited different reactions on social media.

In the video, some men were questioning Kirinyaga Deputy Governor Peter Ndambiri Njagi and his lover, an unknown woman, both of whom are in their birthday suit. They eventually beat him up, forcing him to acknowledge that he is the deputy governor and not a businessman as he had initially introduced himself.

Many condemned the video, with the police later assuring that the suspects would be arrested.

In South Africa, there are two bills currently before Parliament – the Cybercrimes Bill and the Film and Publication Amendment Bill – that will criminalise the reposting of sexual content without the consent of the parties implicated, Sadlier said. But until they get passed, the trend is likely go on.

Here’s how people reacted to the supposed sex tape of the Home Affairs minister:

Conversations

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