Ruling South African Party Blocks Motion Condemning Uganda for Anti-Gay Bill

anc_blocks_da_motion_in_parliament_condemning_uganda_anti_gay_lawSilence = death! Shame on South Africa’s President Zuma and the ruling ANC Party.

By Melanie Nathan, February 25, 2014.

The South African Government has yet to come out with a definitive stand, condemning Uganda for its anti-Homosexuality Bill. South Africa, has an all inclusive full equality constitution which includes LGBTI people. The country is failing to live up to the legacy of former President and world icon, Nelson Mandela.

Mamba Online, a South African Blog reports as follows: The DA says that the ANC blocked its motion in Parliament on Tuesday to condemn the Anti-Homosexuality Bill signed into law by Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni on Monday.

According to Sandy Kalyan, DA Deputy Chief Whip, ANC MPs heckled her when she raised the issue in the House, “illustrating their brazen insensitivity if not support for this shocking measure.”

She said that the ANC in Parliament did not seek to propose any amendments to the motion but rejected it “in its entirety.”

“Our motion would have ensured that South Africa continues with the human rights-based foreign policy established by President Nelson Mandela and that we re-gain our moral standing in the international arena,” said Kalyan.

She also condemned the “shameful failure by President Zuma’s administration to act on this matter.”

The development came as the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) issued a weak statement that fell short of condemning the Ugandan law or a similar recently enacted Nigerian bill; continuing the government’s policy of “silent diplomacy” on LGBT issues.

DIRCO said that “South Africa takes note of the recent developments regarding the situation of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual, Transsexual and Intersex persons (LGBTI) worldwide.”

It further stated: “The South African Government will, through existing diplomatic channels, be seeking clarification on these developments from many capitals around the world.

“South Africa views the respect for the promotion, protection and fulfillment of human rights and fundamental freedoms as a critical pillar of our domestic and foreign policies; hence they are enshrined in our Constitution.

“South Africa believes that no persons should be subjected to discrimination or violence on any ground, including on the basis of sexual orientation,” said DIRCO.

Referring to the statement, Kalyan accused the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, of failing “to act decisively on this issue.” READ MORE from our friends at Mamba Online.

To add insult to injury this is the watery non-committed statement appearing on The Department of International Relations website:

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 9.01.15 AMMedia Statement

25 February 2014

Developments regarding the status of LGBTI persons worldwide

South Africa takes note of the recent developments regarding the situation of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual, Transsexual and Intersex persons (LGBTI) worldwide.

The South African Government will, through existing diplomatic channels, be seeking clarification on these developments from many capitals around the world.

South Africa views the respect for the promotion, protection and fulfilment of human rights and fundamental freedoms as a critical pillar of our domestic and foreign policies; hence they are enshrined in our Constitution.

South Africa believes that no persons should be subjected to discrimination or violence on any ground, including on the basis of sexual orientation.

On the domestic front, we also have challenges of our own in this regard.

The Government has decided to adopt measures aimed at significantly enhancing our protection mechanisms aimed at curbing violence against the LGBTI community. To this end, our focus will also be on ensuring that acts of violence do not go unpunished and that perpetrators are apprehended, prosecuted, convicted and appropriately sentenced.

Our Constitution makes it impermissible to discriminate on the ground of sexual orientation, therefore eradicating hate crimes and intolerance in regard to this matter remains a key preoccupation of the Government, working collectively and with the relevant Civil Society Organisations.

For further information, please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, on 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road
Rietondale
Pretoria

You will note that this watery statement does not even have the where-with-all to refer directly to Uganda, even though it was posted on the day after Museveni assented to the Anti-Homoseuxality Bill. This statement is somewhat watery, considering that South Africa is the one beacon for LGBT equality on the Continent.  It reflects the same disdain as shown by ANC members in parliament when the motion came up. One would expect the President of the only country in Africa, with a full equality constitution, in the wake of a Nelson Mandela legacy, to have the moral conscience, to speak out for oppressed Africans. Not only has President Zuma failed miserably, as has his party in Parliament did on the issue, but he has also continued to harbor the known homophobe, Jon Qwelane, in his position of ambassador to Uganda. All have remained silent. Silence = death! Shame on South Africa’s President Zuma and the ruling ANC Party.

An example of what the likes of Zuma ought to be saying can be seen from this article by Dan Littauer on Uk Huffington Post:


2 thoughts on “Ruling South African Party Blocks Motion Condemning Uganda for Anti-Gay Bill

  1. This afternoon on 702, DIRCO’s Nelson Kgwete explained the statement saying that they had to focus on all countries in the world where lgbti rights are an issue.
    He also explained that the clarification they are seeking is from 77 countries where lgbti rights are an issue.
    It sounds to me that they’re looking for justification for denying lgbti rights so that they can defend their support for these countries.
    I still suspect that the ANC will eventually remove lgbti rights from our constitution given that they may one day need a populist move like that to hold onto power. I also believe it to be the reason they enacted gay marriage as a seperate civil unions bill working side by side with the marriage act, so that same sex marriage legislation can be easily removed in future.
    Maybe I’m too pessimistic but based on President Zuma’s violently homophobic public statements and our government’s posting of John Qwelane to Uganda after they’d got the ball rolling on these new laws, I feel there is some merit in my suspicions.

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