Police in South Africa are looking for the person who posted a photo on Facebook that, if real, is quite disturbing to say the least. The picture shows a white man holding a rifle and appearing to pose over the dead body of a black boy.
The South African newspaper the Sunday Times reports that it notified police of the photo, and cops have launched a full investigation. The photo was posted in June 2010 by a man who calls himself “Eugene Terrorblanche,” which the newspaper reports is a play on the name of the man who founded a far right group called “Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging.” He was murdered last year. The newspaper did not specify why the photo came to light more than a year after it was posted.
There is a chance the photo is a fake but, even still, the person who posted it could face criminal charges. And if it’s real, then that person and anyone else involved would face much more serious charges.
The man in the photo has reportedly been contacted by police and has claimed that the photo is a few years old and was staged. Nevertheless, police are reportedly attempting to confirm that the child in the photo is indeed still alive. Even if the photo is staged, it could still violate South African law.
The case has caused great debate in South Africa, and the photo – although taken down from the original account – has spread rapidly online. There are unconfirmed reports that the photo has been ‘doctored’, although some critics argue that this wouldn’t change the intent of the image.
The Sunday Times quotes officials saying anyone party to the production and posting of the photograph could be charged under several laws including the Children’s Act, the Films and Publications Act and the Criminal Procedure Act.
What are your thoughts? What should happen to those involved?