The Registrar of the Commission received a complaint against Cape Talk, a radio station which falls radiounder this Commission’s jurisdiction. A presenter had called a person and inquired whether it was true that Prince Harry was “bonking” his sister, a Cape Town student. The Tribunal has considered the word “bonking” and has come to the conclusion that it is not a word which younger children would understand. Furthermore, it is slang for having sex and has come to be regarded as an euphemism in contrast to much cruder words. Obviously it is a word which would offend some people but the test is no longer whether a word will offend a listener. For many listeners the word would amount to a word which is in questionable taste. However, the Broadcasting Code does not prohibit words which are in questionable taste. The test is whether a large number of children were present in the audience. That was not the case in the present instance. 

Since the matter of privacy was not raised in the complaint, the Tribunal leaves the question open whether privacy of the person called was not invaded by the call. Broadcasters are cautioned to bear privacy in mind when calling private homes. It might, depending on the circumstances, amount to a contravention of the Code to do that. 

The complaint was not upheld.

[2005] JOL 13699 (BCTSA)