The Information Regulator has recently discovered that the police officers in the Krugersdorp gang rape case have jeopardised the personal safety of sexual assault victims. In October last year, a group of women was reportedly robbed and raped by illegal miners while shooting a music video in Krugersdorp.
Have you never heard of the Information Regulator before? According to Eyewitness News, it is an independent Section 39 body that oversees and enforces compliance by public and private entities/individuals with requirements of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) and the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA). The organisation held its first-ever media briefing in Johannesburg on Wednesday to communicate the outcome of its investigations.
One of the cases investigated was disseminating personal information about sexual assault victims in the Krugersdorp gang rape between police members through WhatsApp. The Regulator chair, Advocate Pansy Tlakula, stated that after the incident, they received a complaint alleging that SAPS members shared the victims’ names, addresses, and phone numbers. Their investigation revealed that police officers violated the POPI Act.
Tlakula also stated that the SAPS must investigate the conduct of the SAP members who engaged in the unlawful processing of personal information of the data subject and must also include POPIA training. In addition, the regulator has given the police service 31 days to publicly apologise for violating the privacy of alleged sexual assault victims.
“The regulator has, amongst others, ordered that the responsible party must notify the data subjects of the security compromise which relates to their personal information, and they must take this action within 31 days of the receipt of the enforcement notice.” He also stated that enforcement notices issued by the Information Regulator are legally binding, and affected parties can only appeal them at a high court.
Picture: Twitter / CliffShiko