Pretoria - The reclassification of the controversial film Inxeba (The Wound) to an X-rating.- which classified the film as pornography - was on Thursday set aside by the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria.
Judge Joseph Raulinga found that the Film and Publication Appeal Tribunal, which reclassified the film from a 16 age restriction to X-rated, did not have jurisdiction to determine the appeal.
The judge sad if the appeal tribunal was dissatisfied with the classification of the Film and Publication Board’s 16 age restriction, their remedy was to bring a judicial review of the Board’s decision.
The practical effect of this judgment is that Inxeba is now back to a 16 age restriction.
The court earlier this month by agreement between the parties temporarily lifted the X-rating given to Inxeba.
It was allowed to be back on mainstream cinema screens, pending the outcome of these proceedings.
The appeal tribunal in February this year reclassified the film to an X-rating, following appeals lodged by Contralesa Gauteng and The Man and Boy Foundation.
Indigenous Film Distribution and Urucu Media, makers and producers of the film, turned to the the court to review and set aside the X-rated classification.
Their main argument was that the classification as hardcore pornography meant that the film could only be viewed at “adult premises” which are known as “sex shops” and no longer at mainstream cinemas.
Inxeba has won multiple awards at festivals across the world and it has recently swept up awards at the South African Film and Television Awards (Saftas) at Sun City.
The board’s appeal tribunal, in reclassifying the film to pornography status, found that it held no artistic merit and that it contained three graphical sexual scenes.