Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Zuma earns wrath of gays and lesbians

Jacob Zuma’s weekend comments about gays earned him the wrath of gay and lesbian groups on Tuesday.

Speaking at Heritage Day celebrations in KwaDukuza on Sunday, Zuma said: ”When I was growing up an ungqingili [a gay] would not have stood in front of me. I would knock him out.”

The Sowetan quoted Zuma as saying that same-sex marriages were ”a disgrace to the nation and to God”.

The Joint Working Group (JWG), representing the gay community, said in a statement released on Tuesday that while Zuma was entitled to his personal opinion, his public statement at KwaDukuza during Heritage Day celebrations ”was a form of hate speech”.

He told the thousands of people that attended the festivities he was speaking in his personal capacity ”as a man”.

”It would seem Jacob Zuma still has a lot to learn about leadership. A true leader leads with intellect and wisdom — not popularity or favour. How can a narrow-minded person like this be expected to lead our nation?” the statement read.

The statement questioned whether a ”homophobic” Zuma had forgotten South Africa’s past of ”state institutionalised discrimination, stigmatisation and segregation”.

It accused Zuma of ”blatant ignorance of the fundamental rights of people as enshrined in our South Africa Constitution and a total disrespect of it”.

Parliament is set to hold public hearings on the proposed civil unions Bill which would give equal rights to gay unions similar to those enjoyed by existing marriages between heterosexual couples.

If the Bill is passed, South Africa will become the first country in Africa to sanction same-sex marriages or unions.

The JWG describes itself as an alliance of registered non-profit organisations, providing services to the gay community.

Zuma was not available for comment. — Sapa

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Hawkish Reserve Bank sees South Africa edge towards a rates...

Analysts say the Reserve Bank could start tightening monetary policy as early as next month

Coko vs S ruling: The case against a subjective test...

Acting judge Tembeka Ngcukaitobi’s acquittal of a rape suspect has raised controversy, but legal experts say the fault lay with legislators and not the court

More top stories

Hawkish Reserve Bank sees South Africa edge towards a rates...

Analysts say the Reserve Bank could start tightening monetary policy as early as next month

Lucas Radebe: ‘My football career began behind my parents’ back’

Soccer legend Lucas ‘Rhoo’ Radebe is a busy man, but he made time in his hectic schedule to speak to Ntombizodwa Makhoba about his fondest childhood memories, how his soccer career began, and, as a father of eight, his legacy

Coko vs S ruling: The case against a subjective test...

Acting judge Tembeka Ngcukaitobi’s acquittal of a rape suspect has raised controversy, but legal experts say the fault lay with legislators and not the court

Defend journalists and media freedom in Eswatini

Journalists are censored through cruel and illegitimate detention, torture and the removal of means to disseminate information to citizens crying – and dying – for it
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×