SA must condemn Uganda gay law - SAHRC

2014-02-27 19:29
(Ben Curtis, AP)

(Ben Curtis, AP)

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

Johannesburg - South Africa must speak out against homophobic Ugandan legislation, the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) said on Thursday.

It welcomed the government's resolution to research international methods of protecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex (LGBTI) community, SAHRC spokesperson Isaac Mangena said in a statement.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni this week signed into law a bill allowing for repeat homosexual "offenders" to be jailed for life.

The legislation also outlaws the promotion of homosexuality and requires people to denounce gays and lesbians.

Mangena said: "The Commission believes that our government should make its rejection of Uganda's draconian law clear and visible.

"[We should] join those who respect the rights and freedoms of every person to call for the repeal of this and all similar legislation and to follow good human rights practices in line with its commitments under international and regional laws."

The SAHRC feared that the Ugandan law could endanger both Ugandan citizens and South Africans who work or travel in Uganga.

In 2011, South Africa introduced a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in support of gay rights.

Human rights

South Africa is a member of the UNHRC and was regarded as a champion of human rights.

"Our government, therefore, is rightfully expected and needs to speak out against all laws that seek to discriminate against and violate the rights of vulnerable and marginalised groups."

The SAHRC also rejected the notion that gay rights issues were a Western construct.

"The struggle for these and other freedoms has been at the heart of liberation struggles throughout the African continent.

"The South African government should actively engage with African countries that seek to outlaw fundamental freedoms and human rights, including gay rights, to desist from such intended practices," Mangena said.

Department of international relations spokesperson Clayson Monyela said in a statement on Tuesday that the government "takes note" of recent international developments regarding the LGBTI community.

"The government has decided to adopt measures aimed at significantly enhancing our protection mechanisms aimed at curbing violence against the LGBTI community," he said.

Read more on:    unhrc  |  sahrc  |  yoweri museveni  |  johannesburg  |  uganda  |  human rights  |  central africa  |  gay rights

Join the conversation! 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 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

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

Traffic Alerts
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 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.