Digital Content

SA’s Internet watchdogs, much like their counterparts elsewhere, are planning a campaign to educate parents and children about the dangers of paedophiles who lurk in Internet chat rooms.The growing threat of child abusers who roam cyberspace chat rooms, often posing as children and who then use these forums to arrange physical meetings with their victims, has prompted the government to take action.

The Film and Publications Board (FPB), which falls under the auspices of the deputy minister of Home Affairs, Masiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, polices such issues as child pornography on the Internet and has been tasked by the minister with running the educational campaign. Brenda Roodt, a sexual-offences prosecutor who has been seconded to the FPB, will head up the operation. She has a reputation as a prosecutor of child abusers, having successfully prosecuted the "Father Christmas paedophile", James McNeil.

Roodt says the campaign is still in the planning phase, but they hope to launch the first stage ­ a hotline where members of the public can report cases of child pornography ­ by April.