Angry under-16s 'have law on kissing wrong'

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The justice department says the so-called "kissing law" was never meant to police children but merely to protect them from sexual exploitation. Since President Thabo Mbeki signed the Sexual Offences Act into law last month, there has been an outcry from teenagers on social networking website Facebook and in the media. At issue is the fact that the Sexual Offences Act is so comprehensive in its detailed prohibitions that it has been taken to forbid kissing and cuddling by under-16s. Tens of thousands of outraged teenagers have substantially increased Internet activity on Facebook relating to the law in the past two weeks. A national event has also been created on Facebook, called "Kiss In Protest" which calls on all under-16s to gather at public places and take part in protest "kissathons". But the department says the key issues have not been understood. Justice Department spokesperson Zolile Nqayi said provided the age difference between a couple was less than two years, they would be unlikely to be prosecuted.

source: < Angry under-16s 'have law on kissing wrong' > by Zara Nicholson;; IOL; 12 January 2008