Health MEC's wife slammed over homophobic comments

2017-06-28 14:26
KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo. (Themba Mngomezulu, Gallo Images, Sowetan)

KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo. (Themba Mngomezulu, Gallo Images, Sowetan)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Durban – Civil rights organisations have lashed out at recent comments by the wife of KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo for calling homosexuality "evil".

Nono Dhlomo was addressing the launch of youth friendly services at Durban’s Cato Manor Clinic where she urged government to bring back religious studies in schools, calling homosexuality "just evil spirits".

"All these problems that are facing our children is the devil’s work, our kids need prayers to be protected from all the negative energies facing them," said Dhlomo, who is employed by the US-funded organisation, Maternal, Adolescent and Child Health (MatCH), and seconded to the Department of Health to support school health services.

Several organisations have called on her to retract her comments immediately, calling it "irresponsible and shocking".

"Her comments as the wife of a health MEC [are] disappointing and will lead to more violence against an already vulnerable community.

"We welcome the leadership of the MEC in leading the strategy on the needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, so we are dismayed at the remarks from his wife," said Nonhlanhla Mkhize, spokesperson for Durban’s Lesbian and Gay Community Health Centre.

Stigma

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) has also weighed in, saying her remarks would worsen the stigma of LGBT people.

"Her comments are demoralising and come at a time when for the first time in the world, SA leads with a new strategic plan for addressing the LGBT health needs. The Department of Health should be seen as a gate opener, not a gate keeper, and so we find her comments very disappointing and call on her to retract them immediately," said TAC provincial secretary Sandile Gumede.

In its response, KZN health spokesperson Desmond Motha said the department recognises the LGBT community as a key population group requiring specific health services, and did not discriminate against them.

It also made it clear that the MEC’s wife was not representing the department at the event.

MatCH spokesperson Arthi Ramkissoon said the remarks by Dhlomo were in contravention of the organisation’s policies and are under investigation.

"MatCH’s work strongly supports mitigation and reduction of discrimination and stigma as well as expansion of access to health services for all communities, including lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender people.

"Mrs Dhlomo was not representing MatCH at the launch of the adolescent and youth friendly services. Her alleged comments about homosexuality and code of conduct do not reflect the views of MatCH. MatCH’s human resources department is investigating the incident and will take any necessary action," Ramkissoon told News24.

Dhlomo could not be reached for comment.

Read more on:    durban  |  health  |  lgbti rights

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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Watch: Investing in the future through child development

An investment of R32-million into 11 early childhood development centres is changing the future for children in the Northern Cape.

Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.

/World
 

Makeover saves dog’s life

Lucky Charlie got a complete make-over that helped him get adopted.

 
 

Paws

For the love of Corgis!
Can we communicate with our pets?
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Buying a puppy? Don’t get scammed!
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

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.

Settings

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.