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Media Release: SAHRC to take steps to provide redress against Steve Hofmeyer relating to utterances made against the LGBTIQ+ community on social media

11 April 2022
Attention: Editors and Reporters

On the 2nd of April 2022 the South African Human Rights Commission (The Commission) was alerted to concerning remarks made by Afrikaans musician Mr Steve Hofmeyr on social media relating to the LGBTIQ+ community. The Commission was further approached by a Non-Profit Organization stationed in Gqeberha, reporting the comments to our offices, as an alleged human rights violation. The statement from Mr Hofmeyr, and with reference to the “+” referred to in the LGBTIQ+ abbreviation, appears to have included the following:

“…Waar my generasie geleer het om met muise eende en honde te praat gaan ons kinders geleer word hoe om met muise, eende en honde seks te he…” (Where my generation learned to talk to mice ducks and dogs, our children are going to be taught how to have sex with mice, ducks and dogs)

From the Commission’s assessment of the statements made, it has determined that same appears to liken the LGBTIQ+ community to be inclusive of bestiality, which constitutes a sexual offence ito S 13 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 2007, as well as the Animal Protection Act, 1962. The Commission has further determined that the comments, in equating a vulnerable section of society to criminals having sex with “mice, ducks and dogs” may seriously demean and humiliate members ascribing to the LGBTIQ+ community, thereby affecting their rights to Equality and Dignity as determined in section 9 and 10 of the Constitution. The Commission is further of the view that the comments, which appear to be in response to Disney’s undertaking to move towards greater inclusivity on their platform, may be in contravention of Section 11 of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, 2000 (Equality Act), read with section 1.

The Commission has an express mandate to take steps to secure appropriate redress where human rights have been violated. In respect of its powers to act in its own name, as well as on behalf of a person and/or a group of persons, the Commission has therefore issued a letter of demand to Mr Hofmeyr to express its concerns relating to the utterances made and shared to his hundreds of thousands of followers and friends accordingly. Should the Commissions’ demands not be met the Commission reserves the right to proceed to the Equality Court to provide it with the appropriate relief herein. This may include a prayer for damages, as well as an order seeking the Respondent to undergo community service at a centre in support of the promotion of the rights of vulnerable groups.

In 2018 the United Nations independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity indicated that every day, millions of gender non-conforming people are subjected to acts of great cruelty based solely on who they are or who they choose to love or desire. Further to this, in the concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women’s fifth periodic report on South Africa, issued in November, 2021, the Committee continually expressed serious concern about the “particularly high levels of gender-based violence of women and girls facing intersecting forms of discrimination [including] LBTI women.”

Serious harassment towards the LGBTIQ+ community therefore needs to be addressed summarily. The Commission underscores the importance of promoting, but also protecting the rights of all LGBTIQ+ and gender non-confirming persons and will seek to provide and attain redress in the matter at hand.

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For further information, contact the SAHRC Provincial Manager, Dr Eileen Carter @ 043 722 7828/072 638 9016 or email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Advocacy and Research Officer, Zukiswa N Mqakanya @ 043 722 7828 or email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



 




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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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