Tuesday, April 6, 2010

SA GLAAD Expresses Outrage At Reports Of SA Sneaking Jon Qwelane Into Kampala As Ambassador

The South African Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation expresses anger and outrage at the news that Jon Qwelane, the homophobic and racist journalist who has yet to appear in the Equality Court to face charges of hate speech and incitement to hate is now in Kampala to take up his appointment as South African Ambassador.

We react with disgust to the news from the SA Human Rights Commission that Mr Qwelane who could not be traced for a lengthy period to be served notice of his court appearance, finally received them - but did not respond within the specified period to say whether or not he would appear - only to find that this man is in Uganda to act as South Africa's Ambassador!

It is this sort of cavalier disregard for the SA Constitution and law and order which lies at the heart of the current disregard for the value of human rights in South Africa.

According to public news sources, Qwelane was "sneaked" into Uganda along with President Zuma's entourage during his state visit to Uganda two weeks ago and is awaiting confirmation as the new South African Ambassador by Ugandan President Musseveni.

This, despite recent calls to not follow through on the appointment of a known racist and homophobe to such a post in a country where there is a strong move by the Ugandan government to install the death penalty as punishment for gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender Ugandans.

This follows the revelation that calls by human rights movements for President Zuma and the SA Government to speak out against Uganda's Gay Genocide Bill have fallen on deaf ears, and that they have made no response to, nor even acknowledged these calls.

We see this as President Zuma and the SA Government's demonstration of the lack of respect or consideration for the feelings, dignity and human rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex South Africans and Ugandans.

We see this move to install a dangerously outspoken homophobe in a position where he can do grievous damage to both the image of South Africa and the lives of innocent Ugandans - and to help him avoid facing the charges brought against him - as a slap in the face - and confirmation that South Africa's human rights ethos is officially dead and buried.

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