Jon Qwelane

The Times has reported that Jon Qwelane and Media24 are being sued for R100,000 over the 2008 anti-gay article published by the Sunday Sun.

According to the newspaper, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) intends the money to be paid to the 777 Campaign Against Hate Crimes group which works towards eliminating hate crimes against LGBT people.

It said that while Media24, publisher of the Sunday Sun, has been served with papers to appear in the Equality Court over the “pain and suffering” caused by the article, Qwelane has not yet been located.

In his Call me names, but gay is NOT okay piece, Qwelane equated homosexuality with bestiality, praised Robert Mugabe’s oppression of gays and lesbians and encouraged the removal of the sexual-orientation equality clause from the constitution.

He also said: “And by the way, please tell the Human Rights Commission that I totally refuse to withdraw or apologise for my views,” because, he added, “wrong is wrong.”

The SAHRC had been criticised by activists for the delay in getting the case before the equality court after it committed itself to doing so in December 2008.

Last week, gay rights groups reacted with outrage at reports that Qwelane was being considered by the government as the next High Commissioner to Uganda. That country is grappling with a pending bill that would impose the death penalty on those found guilty of “aggravated homosexuality.”

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