ANC President Jacob Zuma
With the dropping of the fraud and corruption charges against ANC leader Jacob Zuma, South Africa faces its first homophobic post-apartheid president.
The National Prosecuting Authority dropped all charges against Zuma on Monday. The decision came nearly eight years after the case began.
The NPA’s head Mokotedi Mpshe said that recent proof of political interference in Zuma’s case made it “neither possible nor desirable for the NPA to continue with the prosecution of Mr Zuma.”
In 2006, Zuma caused an uproar within the gay community while speaking at a Heritage Day celebration, saying: “When I was growing up an ‘ungqingili’ (a gay) would not have stood in front of me. I would knock him out”.
He also said that same-sex marriages were “a disgrace to the nation and to God”.
Zuma later apologised for the pain and anger that his remarks might have caused, claiming that the remarks were made in the context of the traditional way of raising children.
“Our lesbian and gay compatriots are protected by the constitution and I respect their rights, in my capacity as an individual citizen and as a member and one of the leaders of the ANC.
“I also respect, acknowledge and applaud the sterling contribution of many gay and lesbian compatriots in the struggle that brought about our freedom, and the role they continue to play in the building of a successful non-racial, non-discriminatory South Africa,” Zuma said at the time.