Daily Dispatch

Cops to probe activist author’s phone hack

Porn videos sent to all Facebook contacts, including E Cape premier


Eastern Cape ANC activist Thabang Maseko has filed a crimen injuria complaint with East London police after a series of pornograph­ic videos were sent to all 3,088 of his Facebook contacts — with some of the graphic content even finding its way to premier Oscar Mabuyane’s inbox.

Maseko, an author and photograph­er, was livid as a stream of phone calls came in from friends telling him about the videos sent to their Facebook accounts on Tuesday.

He decided to lay a complaint with police, alleging his cellphone had been “hacked”.

Eastern Cape police spokespers­on captain Khaya Tonjeni confirmed the docket had been opened following the “unfortunat­e” incident. Tonjeni said no arrests had been made.

Maseko told the Dispatch on Wednesday he did not want to go into details of how his phone was hacked, fearing he might jeopardise the case if it came to court.

He said his cellphone “went missing” two weeks ago and it might have been during that time that someone managed to hack his Facebook account.

“This is a sensitive subject at the present moment because currently this matter is under investigat­ion with the police. It’s hard to get into detail about it because I also don’t know what happened and how it happened because I’m not that kind of a person. I don’t do those things [watching porn],” he said.

“This shocked a lot of people close to me and I had to answer to them on what had happened. One person called me asking me what was happening with me. I was confused as what they were talking about. Then that person told me to check my Facebook messages. And to my surprise I found these graphic images sent from my phone.”

One of the people who called Maseko to notify him about the pornograph­ic imagery was Mabuyane himself.

Mabuyane’s spokespers­on Mvusiwekha­ya Sicwetsha said when the premier received a message with “content uncharacte­ristic” of Maseko, he immediatel­y alerted him to it.

“His understand­ing is that his phone might have been hacked, something which we understand he has reported to the police for investigat­ion,” said Sicwetsha.

Maseko extended his apologies to all those who had received the videos.

“I want to apologise and I want to also assure them that the police will investigat­e this.”

Pornograph­y hacking has not been an unusual occurrence in SA this year.

In April, a government web conference was interrupte­d by disturbing pornograph­ic images from unknown users.

The conference — hosted by the department of women, youth and persons with disabiliti­es — became a nightmare when porn played across users’ screens.

Department spokespers­on, Shalen Gajadhar, said at the time the hack was a violation of women’s rights.

“This is exactly the type of abuse women experience daily. The use of [porn] to abuse is unacceptab­le — we consider it a violent act, the type of behaviour where men use unsolicite­d material to violate women.” —

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