Home Contact Us Maps Links The Constitution Marikana
| More

NEWS STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE SOUTH AFRICAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION REGARING ISSUES RELATING TO THE RIGHTS OF THE LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX COMMUNITIES

Date: Thursday, 05 May 2011

The SA Human Rights Commission returns to the Johannesburg Equality Court on Friday, 27 May 2011 for judgment regarding the court proceedings that it instituted against the former Sunday Sun columnist Mr Jon Qwelane in terms of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act .

The proceedings relate to the derogatory and homophobic article written by Mr Qwelane in his column. Mr Qwelane did not present himself at court recently when the matter was set down for a directions hearing. Due to his absence the Commission submitted argument for default judgment to be granted against him.  The Commission is asking the court to grant an order of an unconditional apology and a symbolic compensation against Mr Qwelane.

Meanwhile, the Commission welcomes government’s announcement that it will form a task team to deliberate on the issues relating to hate crimes against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities. According to the Department of Justice the team would begin its work on July 15 and will comprise representatives from the judiciary, police, government and the LGTI communities.

This follows the killing and raping of Ms Noxolo Nogwaza, a 24 year gender activist and a lesbian. It is alleged that Ms Nogwaza who was stoned to death, was a victim of corrective rape.

South Africa has a long history of prejudice and discrimination. One of the major legacies of apartheid is that of intolerance towards ‘difference’ - be it in terms of race, religion, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation or other such factors. As a result, seventeen years after South Africa’s first democratic elections, the country is still grappling to find ways to better manage ‘difference’.
 
Seventeen years after the end of apartheid, there is a need to question whether South Africa has adequately dealt with the prejudice. The reality is that in many cases, because prejudice remains insufficiently addressed and as a result of this racism, xenophobia, sexism, and homophobia, continue to undermine social cohesion in South Africa.
 
The Commission hopes the task team will among others deliberate on:

• The creation of an environment that will ensure that those who perceive themselves to be victims of hate crimes feel comfortable enough to report these crimes to the police and have faith that these will be followed up effectively;

• The need to assess the extent to which the existing policing structures are inclusive and representative of all relevant constituencies. Currently the Community Policing Forums (CPFs) serve as a liaison forum between the police and the community; yet, it is not clear to what extent CPFs are able to represent the concerns of all members of the community including the LGBT people;

• The need for an improvement in the way in which crimes suspected of being hate crimes are investigated and prosecuted. The current backlog in the criminal justice system means that cases suspected of involving hate crime will take a long time to finalize, thus extending the trauma of the victim;

• And the need for an improvement in the way hate crimes are recorded by the police. Unlike in other countries, South Africa’s crime statistics do not provide for a separate category for hate crimes. This means that it is hard to gauge the levels of hate crime in the country. Coupled with concerns regarding underreporting of hate crimes, this means that many incidents are likely to have gone undetected.

For years the Commission has been lobbying government to look into the possibility of enacting a Hate Crimes legislation. It even brought to government’s attention the need to take measures to address issues relating to hate crimes and hate speech as recommended by the United Nations Committee to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. In August 2006 the Committee recommended that the South African government must look at instituting measures to deal with hate crimes and hate speech and also report to it. But to date nothing had been done.

The Commission is available to engage with the team as soon as it begins its work.


ENDS

Further enquiries: Vincent Moaga on 073 562 9866/011 877 3636

For comments email info@sahrc.org.za [Back]



- See more at: http://www.justice.gov.za/legislation/constitution/index.html#sthash.vQme5ODl.dpuf

The South African Constitution

The Commission is available on social media

SAHRC TWITTER.jpg One.jpg @SAHRCommission

Facebook-Icon.jpg SA Human Rights Commission

YOU1.png SAHRC 1


To lodge a human rights violation complaint, click here.

or Call 011 877 3600
e-mail: complaints@sahrc.org.za

Provincial contact details are available here

 



PAIA section 14 Manual.jpg


MEDIA STATEMENTS

SAHRC launches investigation into allegations of racism at University of the Free State
SAHRC finalizing report on complaints against King Goodwill Zwelithini
SAHRC response to ANC petition on racism
International Disability Day – SAHRC calls for employers to do more
SAHRC welcomes Supreme Court judgment on the delivery of textbooks in Limpopo


SAHRC NEWSLETTER

Pfanelo January Edition


Upcoming Events

  • 20 year Anniversary Celebration

 

Report any fraudulent and/or unethical behavior taking place in the Commission anonymously to the SAHRC Tip-offs Line.

FreeCall: 0800 222 365
Email: sahrc@tip-offs.com
FreeFax: 0800 00 77 88
FreePost: KZN 138, Umhlanga Rocks 4320
Website: www.tip-offs.com

Independently managed by the Office of the Public Service Commission.



 

SAHRC Programmes

Since its establishment, the SAHRC has dedicated itself to:
•  Raising awareness;
•  Monitoring and assessment;
•  Education and training
•  Addressing human rights violations

How can the SAHRC help?

The SAHRC promotes, protects and monitors human rights in South Africa. It also has a specific responsibility to promote and monitor the implemen-
tation of PAIA.

Calendar

08 March – International Women’s Day
21 March - Human Rights Day
27 April – Freedom day
1 May - Workers day
03 May – World Press Freedom Day

[See more]