One of South Africa’s most famous gay sons, world-renowned AIDS activist Zackie Achmat, has married his partner near Cape Town.

Achmat tied the knot with Dalli Weyers on Saturday at a ceremony attended by 300 guests, including a number of political and activist luminaries such as Cape Town Mayor Helen Zille.

Sunday newspapers reported that the ceremony was officiated by another openly gay heavyweight, Supreme Court of Appeal judge Edwin Cameron. According to the Sunday Times, Cameron, who wore “glitter eye make-up”, was granted special status as a magistrate for the day to conduct the wedding.

Achmat is one of the founders of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) which has led a confrontational and very public campaign to force the government to provide antiretroviral treatment to those living with HIV/AIDS.

At one point, Achmat, who is himself HIV positive, refused to take medication, despite being ill, until the government agreed to roll out antiretroviral drugs to the public.

According to the Civil Union Act, same-sex unions may be classified as a civil partnership or a marriage. The couple chose to have their union seen as a marriage.

“Marriage sounds a bit more weighty,” Weyers told the Sunday Times. “We decided that the marriage statement as a same-sex couple was a profound one and we want the union to be seen as equal,” he said.

The ceremony took place at the Imperial Yacht Club in Lakeside outside Cape Town. Also in attendance was the former deputy minister of health, Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge who, it has been claimed, was fired because of a clash over HIV/AIDS policies with her superiors. Afrikaans rocker, Karen Zoid, performed at the reception.

The couple will honeymoon in Lesotho at a friend’s lodge.

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