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Oscar-winning film's editors held for piracy

The culprits will face charges of fraud, theft and corruption in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court

india Updated: Apr 02, 2006 19:29 IST

Two people have been arrested for producing and distributing pirate copies of South Africa's Oscar-winning drama film Tsotsi, a South African newspaper reported on Sunday.

The suspects were also allegedly involved in producing pirate copies of Mama Jack, another hit South African film, said the Sunday Times.

Reportedly key members of a suspected syndicate, they will face charges of fraud, theft and corruption in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Monday.

A three-month investigation led to the arrest last week, as all evidence pointed to the two members of the editing team of both movies, James Lennox, chief executive of the South African Federation Against Copyright Theft (SAFACT), told the newspaper.

Both worked at Video Lab, a Johannesburg company that has edited more than 30 South African films including Tsotsi, until they resigned late last year.

Fake DVDs featuring local hits and Hollywood productions such as Big Momma 2 could be easily found on some Johannesburg streets.

They were estimated to cost South Africa's fledgling but internationally acclaimed film industry $135 million a year.

Tsotsi, winning the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar last month, tells the story of a young Johannesburg thug who faces moral dilemma after inadvertently kidnapping a baby during a hijacking.