Though many across the world condemned the bill, which if passed would criminalise Ugandans who identified as queer, the South African government is yet to issue a public statement on the issue.
President Cyril Ramaphosa at the 36th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Ethiopia on 18 February 2023. Picture: Twitter/@AthiGeleba
MIDRAND – Some leaders within the Democratic Alliance (DA) slammed the South African government for not condemning Uganda’s anti-homosexual law.
Earlier in March, Uganda’s parliament passed a sweeping anti-gay bill that, which once signed into law, effectively criminalises Ugandans who identify with the LGBTQIA+ community.
Speaking at the DA’s federal congress in Midrand on Saturday, the party’s openly gay leaders called on government to show solidarity with the gay community in Uganda and across the world.
The anti-gay law has been condemned by many countries and organisations across the world, with the United Nations calling it “egregious”.
However, the South African government is yet to issue a public statement on the issue.
The country’s only openly gay mayor, Chris Pappas, said the South African constitution of not discriminating against anyone based on their sexuality should be consistent with its foreign policy stance.
“We are weak generally in foreign policy. As a country, we take backstage or if we sit back and don’t actually voice our concerns, so I think we need to do more.
“As a country, we need to speak out against these things when there are atrocities and actually live the values in our Constitution through our foreign policy.”
DA member of the KwaZulu-Natal legislature, Martin Meyer said he is proud to live in the country as an openly gay man.
He said the government’s quiet diplomacy on the Ugandan bill is a betrayal to the country’s queer community.