Zuma rebukes Zulu king for gay slur

2012-01-23 14:45
Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma reportedly hit back at King Goodwill Zwelithini who was quoted as saying that homosexuals are "rotten".

"Traditionally, there were no people who engaged in same sex relationships. There was nothing like that and if you do it, you must know that you are rotten," he said at a ceremony on Sunday marking the 133rd anniversary of the Battle of Isandlwana, where the Zulu army defeated British imperial forces.

"I don't care how you feel about it. If you do it, you must know that it is wrong and you are rotten. Same sex is not acceptable."

But Zuma said at the ceremony that the country must end discrimination against gays and lesbians.

"Today, we are faced with different challenges... challenges of reconciliation and of building a nation that does not discriminate against other people because of their colour or sexual orientation," Zuma said, according to The Times.

The SA Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation also responded to Zwelithini's statement on Monday.

GLAAD's Cobus Fourie said in a statement to News24: "We find it extremely distressing that a high profile person makes such vexing and degrading comments about an increasingly vulnerable community.

"We have enough instances of hate crimes in this country and we do not need to add insult to injury."

Zuma himself sparked a firestorm six years ago, before he was president, when he was quoted as saying that same-sex marriages were "a disgrace to the nation and to God" and that he would have beaten gays when growing up.

He later apologised.

South Africa is one of the few countries in the world to extend equal rights to gays, and is the only nation in Africa to allow same-sex marriage.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  king goodwill zwelithini  |  gay rights

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Watching Boks win was special
Du Preez: Pollard's drop-goal was vital
SA-born Kruger starts against Boks
Boks up to No 4 in rankings
Traffic Alerts

It is time to focus on your daily rhythm. Are you putting too much attention on future projects and neglecting the day to day...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.