A media organisation has slammed the press for its use of the terms “sodomite” and “sodomy” in the reporting of the alleged rape of teenage boys in Ekurhuleni.

In an alert issued to the media, Gays For Equitable Media (GEM), says that it has noted the recent use of the terms in front page headlines like “Boys point out alleged sodomist after attack” and “Picture of alleged sodomist to be released”.

“Sodomy – which refers to anal intercourse between heterosexual or homosexual couples – is not a crime in South Africa. Forced sodomy – like vaginal rape – is however. In terms of the soon to be amended Sexual Offences Act, and in terms of a judgement by the Pretoria High Court, the rape of a male person is now legally recognised in South Africa,” says the organisation.

It goes on to add that forced anal intercourse should be referred to as “rape” – and not sodomy.

According to GEM, “Using the term ‘sodomy’ – which is the legal act of anal intercourse – in this context is inappropriate and implies a link between homosexuality and rape or paedophilia. The use of this archaic term also smacks of sensationalism, tabloid reporting and homophobia.”

GEM recommends that the alleged aggressor in the Ekurhuleni case – and in similar cases – be referred to as “the alleged rapist” in future.

A 20 year old man was arrested at Germiston’s Golden Walk mall on Tuesday in connection with the rape of a number of young boys in the area.

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