Openly gay singing legend Sir Elton John, who will be performing in South Africa this month, has been accused of hypocrisy after agreeing to perform in country which imprisons gay people.

John recently announced that he will put on a concert at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), on January 22. It will be his first ever performance in that country.

The UAE has come under fire for its anti-gay laws, which make homosexuality illegal and punishable by imprisonment. Those found guilty may also be sentenced to hormonal and psychiatric treatment.

John has been a vocal supporter of gay rights and in March last year wrote an article published in the Guardian Newspaper in which he called for the British government to lobby for the rights of gay people around the world.

“Whether the bigot is in our local pub or miles away, we should all stand up and speak out for basic human rights,” he wrote at the time.

Elton John will kick off his first South African tour in Cape Town on January 13 before moving on to Johannesburg and Durban.

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