As South Africans are called upon to do good for 67 minutes on 18 July 2012, in honor of Nelson Mandela, many gay, lesbian, bi and transexual citizens are fearing for their lives, wondering if the current ANC leadership has forgotten about Mandela’s example of appreciation for dignity and freedom from violent persecution.
The LGBTI South African community are mourning a spate of homophobic murders and mutilations that has claimed at at least eight LGBTI persons across the country in the last month:
1. Thapelo Makhutle, gay/trans individual from the Northern Cape was killed, his body mutilated and his head almost completely severed from his body;
2. Neil Daniels was stabbed to death and set alight in Cape Town;
3. Phumeza Nkolonzi was shot thrice by a man who burst into her home in Nyanga;
4. Sanna Supa from Braamficherville, Soweto, was also shot thrice in her driveway;
5. Hendrietta Thapelo Morifi, known as Andritha, from Mokopane, Limpopo, was stabbed and her head almost severed from her body;
Though facebook LGBTI groups are consistently streaming in posts of violent murders suspected of homophobic overtones.
Such violence is reported by several prominent Cape Town lesbian activist. One such activist in Ndumie Funda of Luleki Sizwe. Zuma has never said a word on all the LGBTI murders, however with the "spear of the nation" scandal it was all the ANC talked about. We want Zuma to speak up condemning homophobia because people are losing their lives."
Mr Patekile Holomisa’s homophobic view points and actions to bring in question the protections on sexual orientation within the constitution of South Africa by submitting a prejudicial proposal from from CONTROLESA (on which he serves) to the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) which he also chairs. This is a blatant conflict of interest. Any member of the CRC should uphold their duties to the constitution and only add to protections for vulnerable groups to promote an equitable and dignified South Africa. However Mr Holomisa did the reverse, by promoting a bigoted proposal to strip a segment of our community from entrenched basic human rights.
Patekile Holomisa continues to perform his duties as an ANC MP, this is completely unacceptable while he has uttered statements that are supposedly in contrary to what the ANC claims to be standing for.
The ANC emerged from its policy conference silent on LGBTI issues, and their gender policy excludes sexual orientation.
The coalition of LGBTI civil society organizations are asking the broader public, gender equality and liberal churches to join in for 67 minutes of activism on the 18th of July on Mandela Day, by taking part in a protest from St. George's Cathedral, Wale St. from 11h30 to 14h00
The purpose is to remind the ANC leadership, that Nelson Mandela on the council of Simon Nkoli and other LGBTI activist ensured that LGBTI South Africans could enjoy their full human rights.
The group is pleading with the ANC leadership to also make a statement defending the lives and contributions of LGBTI South Africans whilst clearly condemning the homophobic hate crimes and murders.
The march will culminate at the Sahara Bldg, Riebeek Street where the ANC offices are run on the 7th Fl. A memorandum will be handed over to Songezo Mjongile, the ANC Western Cape representative to raise the issue within the ANC's ranks.
Pam Dhlamini an organizer of the protest states: "As a lesbian in Cape Town we are only free in the small Gay Village, other than that we face immediate dangers and derision. There is no freedom for us where we live."
Eugene Brockman, Designer of the Gay Flag of South Africa added: "Patekile Holomisa and Controlesa has publically flaunted homophobic sentiments without any major reprimand or consequence. As a result we have seen an steep rise in violent homophobic murders and mutilations. The perception has become that murders on LGBTI South Africans acceptable. Unless there is absolute condemnation of this dispicable violence, innocent, bright contribution South Africans will lose their lives purely for being who they are."