A satire site seems to think it’s hilarious to claim (falsely) that EFF leader Julius Malema is planning to kill gays and lesbians.
The site, iMzansi, posted an article on Tuesday with the headline: “‘I Will Kill All Gays & Lesbians If I Become President’ – Julius Malema.”
The astonishing article “quoted” Malema after he was apparently asked about the Orlando massacre. The quotes published include:
“Everybody including God hates gays and lesbians because they insult nature, animals are far much better than them because they know their sex mates
”God allowed that shooting because he hates gays and lesbians, if it was not a gay club God could not have sent the young man who killed 49 people.
”South Africa is in a mess because God is not on our side, the number homosexual relationships is increasing daily in our country, a big sign that more dangers are going to attack us as a nation, the best way is to get rid of all gays and lesbians, or rather giving them life in jail imprisonment.”
The quotes are completely fake. EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi condemned the article as “baseless” and “a figment of someone’s imagination”.
Ndlozi told Mambaonline that Malema and the EFF have “no programme or desire to kill anyone. We believe absolutely in the freedom of all people to choose and live freely their sexual orientation.”
He added: “We support the struggles, in particular of black lesbians, as they face the worst forms of violence in our society.”
What is most disturbing is that the editor of iMzansi – which confusingly provides both real and “fake” news – felt that the article qualifies as either “humour” or “satire”.
It’s not immediately obvious that the article is a spoof and those who are not aware of this have been sharing it on social media as if it’s a genuine report.
In the wake of 49 murdered in Orlando, at least seven in Mexico, and the continued often deadly attacks on South Africa’s own LGBT community, the article is deeply irresponsible. There is the real risk that some may take the statements, seemingly from a major national political leader, as inspiration to kill gays and lesbians.
iMzansi told us via WhatsApp that the article “was a joke” and insisted that the site “is well known for satire and outrageous joke stories”.
The site’s editor, who did not give us their name, then stated, “I am sorry about how we made you and the gay community feel” and said they would consider deleting the article.
In May, the site claimed in another tasteless “satirical” article that notorious Nigerian evangelist TB Joshua had seen the late bisexual South African music icon Brenda Fassie burning in hell. It too was neither funny nor seemed to make any satirical statement.
A 2014 survey found that members of the EFF were the most in favour of same-sex marriage, compared to those of all other political parties.
UPDATE: iMzansi appears to have removed the article but a copy can still be found here.