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25 July 2017 12:59 (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 has of late been a political tourist chasing elections and summits in various parts of the world, especially in Africa. 

    After spending her student days at political rallies in South Africa right through the country's first democratic elections in 1994, and after an extended working holiday in London, Carien started working for newspapers full-time in 2003. She's pretty much had her share of reporting on South African politics, attending gatherings and attracting trolls, but still finds herself attracted to it like a moth to a veld fire. 

    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Seeing that the judgment in the case was rescinded on a technicality and not on the merit of his arguments, the old case can continue and the commission need not bring a new case against him.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 has of late been a political tourist chasing elections and summits in various parts of the world, especially in Africa. 

    After spending her student days at political rallies in South Africa right through the country's first democratic elections in 1994, and after an extended working holiday in London, Carien started working for newspapers full-time in 2003. She's pretty much had her share of reporting on South African politics, attending gatherings and attracting trolls, but still finds herself attracted to it like a moth to a veld fire. 

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

  • Politics

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