South African police are investigating a photo on Facebook that shows a white man with a rifle posing with what appears to be the lifeless body of a black child.
The photo was posted on the social networking site in the profile of a user called 'Eugene Terrorblanche'. The name is similar to that of a South African white separatist leader who was murdered last year.
It is not clear whether the photo is real or manipulated, police are asking the public for help in identifying the people in the picture.
The user, who has more than 500 Facebook friends, describes himself as self-employed, and lists his interests as knives, firearms and weapons.
It is the second time the photo has appeared in four years. The man who appears in the photo told police in 2007 that the child was alive, and had been paid to pose.
South African police were unable to confirm the status of the 2007 investigation.
The new investigation will have to determine why the photograph resurfaced four years
South African police emphasised that the photograph should not raise "racial connotations" but instead should focus on the murder of a child.
"Whether the child was white or black, the photograph is still a big concern because it depicts the murder of a child," said Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa's spokesman,
Over 20 Facebook users had removed themselves from Terrorblanche's contact list after authorities suggested that anyone who viewed the picture and failed to report it
could face prosecution.
Two Facebook groups, one calling for the arrest of Terrorblanche's friends and another protesting against him, grew quickly to more than 300 supporters.
Officials said anyone who produced or distributed the photo could have violated several laws, including South Africa's Children's Act, Films and Publications Act, and Criminal Procedure Act.