Sagacity central
31 August 2016 04:08 (South Africa)
Politics

Qwelane will have to explain why gay is not OK

  • Carien du Plessis
    carien du plessis
    Carien du Plessis

    Jill of all trades but really, mistress of none, Carien loved her job as political journalist so much that she decided to get married to it. For now, in any case. She’s a party animal and you’ll often find her at gatherings of the ANC, SACP, Cosatu, and the DA, amongst others. Loving children greatly, she also runs after the ANC Youth League a lot of the time. More often though, you’ll find her just running aimlessly, and she has earned herself the title of Comrade by partaking in the annual jog between Durban and Pietermaritzburg.

    After spending her student days at political rallies, campus newspapers, and in lecture halls, and after an extended overseas working holiday, Carien started newspaper reporting in 2003, pissing off (the issue of female dogs apply here) and even pleasing some of her subjects. Then the age of enlightenment dawned on her, too, and in 2011 she crossed the floor to work for the Daily Maverick full-time.

    Her ultimate ambition in life is to become a travelling chocolate writer of international fame.

  • Politics
qwelane

Former columnist Jon Qwelane, who is not okay with gays, might have won the battle in getting a hate speech judgment against him set aside after he failed to appear in court, but it seems he’ll soon have to be back to explain himself. CARIEN DU PLESSIS reports.

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has confirmed that it will continue with its case against former columnist and ambassador to Uganda, Jon Qwelane, for a column he wrote in the Sunday Sun in 2008 titled “Call me names, but gay is NOT ok”.

SAHRC spokesman Vincent Moaga on Monday told Daily Maverick the commission would take up the case again, but a court date still had to be decided.

A guilty judgment by the Equality Court earlier this year was set aside in August because Qwelane was not in court in May when the case was heard, as he was on sick leave.

He also did not appoint lawyers to defend him.

In May the court ruled that there was only one version presented to them – that of the SAHRC – and this argument had to be accepted. This was set aside by the court later because the judgment was not allowed as it was done at a directions hearing, meant to iron out procedural matters before a case is heard.

Seeing that the judgment in the case was rescinded on a technicality and not on the merit of his arguments, the old case can continue and the commission need not bring a new case against him.

In his column, Qwelane praised President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe for his “unflinching and unapologetic stance over homosexuals” and said that he prayed that men and women would some day have “the balls to rewrite the (South African) Constitution” to disallow gay marriages again.

He also equated homosexuality with bestiality.

There was a huge outcry when Qwelane was appointed ambassador to Uganda by an unapologetic President Jacob Zuma in January 2010.

Uganda’s government is known for its anti-gay stance. DM



  • Carien du Plessis
    carien du plessis
    Carien du Plessis

    Jill of all trades but really, mistress of none, Carien loved her job as political journalist so much that she decided to get married to it. For now, in any case. She’s a party animal and you’ll often find her at gatherings of the ANC, SACP, Cosatu, and the DA, amongst others. Loving children greatly, she also runs after the ANC Youth League a lot of the time. More often though, you’ll find her just running aimlessly, and she has earned herself the title of Comrade by partaking in the annual jog between Durban and Pietermaritzburg.

    After spending her student days at political rallies, campus newspapers, and in lecture halls, and after an extended overseas working holiday, Carien started newspaper reporting in 2003, pissing off (the issue of female dogs apply here) and even pleasing some of her subjects. Then the age of enlightenment dawned on her, too, and in 2011 she crossed the floor to work for the Daily Maverick full-time.

    Her ultimate ambition in life is to become a travelling chocolate writer of international fame.

  • Politics

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