Censorship in South Africa

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Censorship is the suppression of speech or deletion of communicative material which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient to the government or media organizations as determined by a censor.

Censorship in South Africa

General censorship

In 1963 the Publications and Entertainment Bill was passed. This stipulated **. PUBLICATIONS AND ENTERTAINMENT ACT no. 26 (1963). Prior to 1963, censorship was exercised by Customs, which meant locally-produced works were not subject to any censorship. This Act - which stayed in operation up to the passing of the Publications Act of 1974 - founded the first censorship board in South Africa, consisting of nine members, of which six were in charge of art, language and literature, allowing also for domestic censorship of ‘undesirable’ works. Although a provision was made for an appeal to the Supreme Court, this option was seldom exercised in practice. In all, an average of about 70 films per year, and 7000 publications were banned in the decade in which this Act was in operation. (See Gosher, 1988) [JH] PUBLICATIONS APPEAL BOARD. Higher authority called into being by the Publications Act of 1974. This body handled appeals against bannings previously referred to the Supreme Court and sat in camera with interested parties. (See Gosher, 1988) [JH] PUBLICATIONS ACT (1974). Supplanted the 1963 Publications and Entertainment Act. While retaining the strict provisions and criterion of ‘undesirability’, it closed some loopholes and replaced the right of appeal to the Supreme Court with an inhouse Publications Appeal Board. (See Gosher, 1988) [JH] See Smith, 1990, pp45-47.

Censorship and theatre

Censored productions and plays

See banned musicals for blasphemy: Hair, Godspell, Jesus Christ Superstar. Amendations to: Three Months Gone; Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

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