Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Human Rights Commission orders M-Net's Carte Blanche to apologise to Lotz family after showing dead daughter's body on TV.

For the second time in months M-Net's Sunday night investigative magazine show Carte Blanche has been ordered to apologise for something it showed.

The Human Rights Commission (HRC) has ordered the Combined Artistic Productions show to apologise within 6 weeks to the family of the murdered Inge Lotz after Carte Blanche broadcast images of her dead body on 18 September 2008 in the insert "Forensics Investigated".

The Lotz parents complained at the HRC that Carte Blanche producers didn't inform them ahead of time that their dead daughter's body would be shown on M-Net across South African TV screens and that M-Net and Carte Blanche also didn't have permission to use photos of their dead daughter's remains.

The Lotz parents say the images of their dead girl on Carte Blanche caused them emotional trauma and anxiety.

The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) assisted in the case before the Human Right Commission which has now ruled that Carte Blanche has to implement steps to ensure that all future cases of a similar nature are handled with "maximum respect" according to clause 28.4 of the Broadcasting Code.

M-Net has to give the HRC a written confirmation of the steps that has been taken and implemented within 6 weeks.

The HRC found that although Carte Blanche's broadcast of the dead body of Inge Lotz was in the public interest, that Carte Blanche could have done more and could have informed the Lotz family ahead of time about the intent to broadcast the visuals.

The HRC found that even though permission wasn't required, that it was at least necessary to inform the family members to lessen the traumatic impact of suddenly and unexpectedly seeing their dead daughter's body on television.