A call for President Ramaphosa to condemn homophobic attacks

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The LGBTIQ+ community is calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to condemn the recent spate of violence against its people. They have given the President until Friday to address the nation on homophobic hate crimes as he did with gender-based violence.

The group says enough is enough. The LGBTIQ+ community says it is living in fear, following the recent attacks and killings of queer people.

This comes after calls for justice for Andile Ntuthela and Lonwabo Jack who were brutally murdered over their sexual orientation.

The group says at least six people have been killed since 12 February this year and that the recent acts of violence are a reflection of the lived experiences of their members.

Activist Virginia Magwaza from the Other Foundation says, “This morning we have learnt of another case in the Eastern Cape. Since the dawn of democracy, LGBQIT+ communities have been brutalised, raped and killed across our nation. The list is long. Names like Sizakele Gasa, Salume Moosa, Eudy Simelane, Gift Makau, Sana Suphe, Nare Mphela, Krivani Fonfein and Lindo Cele may stand out, but so many others did not make the headlines. Even today, we still don’t have no hate crime legislation in the country.”

‘Calls for an end to violent attacks’

The community wants the President and law enforcement agencies to come to their rescue. “Today we demand the following: we demand that by the end of this week, the President of South Africa unequivocally speak out, condemn, and calls for an end to the violent attacks on the LGBTQ plus community, furthermore, the government of South Africa to urgently finalise the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crime and Hate Speech Bill which was first drafted in 2016 and approved by the cabinet in 2018,” says Magwaza.

They have also called on religious and traditional leaders to speak out against the killings and to stop using culture and religion to vilify members of the LGBTIQ+ community.

Sphamandla Khoza’s body was discovered in a ditch near his home last month. Khoza had been stabbed multiple times following an alcohol-induced attacked apparently over his sexuality.

Meanwhile, the African National Congress says it will report back to the President in a meeting set for next week Wednesday. “The ANC Women’s League LGBTIQ+ desk deems it important to speak out on the recent sporadic brutal killingsLGBTIQ+  individuals across the country. Part and parcel of our work is to ensure that we agitate government on ensuring that issues of LGBTIQ+ find expression both within Parliament and the mass democratic movement,” says ANC Women’s League’s LGBTIQ  desk, Mpho Buste.

They have threatened to march to the Union Buildings should President Ramaphosa fail to address their concerns.