Police management has condemned a police reservist for having sex with a correctional services official while on duty at Leratong Hospital.
The reservist embarrassed her colleagues and brought the police into disrepute, and her dismissal would serve as a warning to other officers, spokesman Colonel Vishnu Naidoo said in a statement on Tuesday.
The front page of Monday's Sowetan newspaper, headlined “Sies!” was accompanied by photos of the act.
Naidoo however added that publishing the pictures was insensitive, particularly as children had access to the newspaper.
The Commission for Gender Equality and Media Monitoring Africa on Monday condemned the use of the photos, and questioned the way the Sowetan covered the story.
The commission's Javu Baloyi called for a public apology, and said the article was “shocking” and bordered on pornography.
“It is sad that a newspaper with the history and social position of the Sowetan would stoop so low.”
In the context of the current debate on media regulation, publishing such images did little to strengthen arguments for a free media, Baloyi said.
“These images are so personal and so explicit that to use them in a public space, especially in the consumer media, is bordering on the propagation of pornography.”
Media Monitoring Africa asked whether the story warranted such prominence and images.
“More fundamentally perhaps, what is the actual story, if not to sensationalise and thereby increase sales?”
In a statement, the organisation's William Bird said the story could have potentially devastating consequences for the families of both officers involved. According to the Sowetan both are married.
“It is not clear how considerations for their privacy were balanced against the desire to report the story.”
He said the story could have focused instead on the response by the police and correctional services departments.
The man had been suspended and was facing disciplinary proceedings. - Sapa