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By Gareth Cotterell

Digital Editor


Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos could face criminal charges over child porn tweet

De Vos claims AfriForum is threatening criminal charges because he criticised the organisation’s hate speech case against EFF leader Julius Malema.


Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos may be facing legal trouble after AfriForum Youth said it would lay criminal charges against him for sharing child pornography on his Twitter feed.

De Vos claims his Twitter account was hacked.

Child pornography tweet

In a post that was retweeted by De Vos’s account on September 11, a boy could reportedly be seen being sexually abused by an adult man. The post has since been deleted.

“It is beyond my understanding that anyone could be guilty of such atrocities. What’s more: that they share it on a public platform, try to erase it and get away with it scot-free. This while human trafficking, which is directly related to this type of sexual crime, is a threatening issue in South Africa,” says René van der Vyver, spokesperson for AfriForum Youth.

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Criminal charges

De Vos, however, is claiming that it is a tit-for-tat move by AfriForum Youth. He said the threat of criminal charges is only coming because he criticised AfriForum for the organisation’s hate speech case against Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema.

“Last week, my Twitter account was hacked and tweeted porn. I deleted the tweets and changed my password. But AfriForum Youth now says it will lodge a criminal complaint against me. Not surprising given the criticism I levelled against their hate speech case against Mr Malema,” he tweeted.

“Obviously, nothing will come of this complaint, but I will continue to criticise AfriForum when I believe it is appropriate to do so. I will, of course, refrain from making spurious allegations against them,” he added.

AfriForum Youth said it will file complaints against the legal expert with the police (Saps) “in accordance with Section 19A(4) of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act (32 of 2007), as well as the provision against the distribution of child pornography in the Film and Publication Act (65 of 1996, as amended)”.

It also sent a letter to the University of Cape Town (UCT) demanding that disciplinary steps be taken against De Vos. De Vos teaches constitutional law at the university and was appointed the Claude Leon Foundation Chair in Constitutional Governance at UCT in 2009.

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