The Democratic Alliance (DA) says that it is stunned by the South African government’s recent vote against LGBT protection at the UN.
“South Africa should be leading the way in promoting LGBT rights on the African continent, and further afield,” said Kenneth Mubu MP, DA Shadow Minister of International Relations.
“Our foreign policy should set an example. Instead, we are voting with states that publically flog and execute their own citizens.”
Lask week, South Africa was among 79 states to successfully vote to remove a reference to sexual orientation from a resolution on extrajudicial killings.
Others who voted for the amendment include Uganda, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe, Uzbekistan, Syria, Belize, Libya, Tanzania, Comoros, Lebanon, Ethiopia, Morocco, Burundi, Eritrea, Angola, Kenya, Cameroon, Algeria, Tunisia, Kuwait, Ghana, Liberia, Senegal, Guyana, Jamaica, Sierra Leone, Malawi and Malaysia.
In all of these states, homosexual acts are illegal, and punishments vary from public floggings to hefty, and in some case life, sentences.
According to the UN’s official minutes of the vote, South Africa’s UN representative justified the government’s position by claiming that international law is insufficiently clear on the definition of sexual orientation.
“The Minister of International Relations would do well to explain why this ‘concern’ did not prevent 70 other states from voting against the amendment,” said Mubu.
He added: “There is absolutely clear evidence that sexual orientation has been a motive for many extrajudicial killings, and that the inclusion of reference to sexual orientation in this resolution was therefore appropriate and necessary.”
Mubu insisted that the “The Zuma administration cannot remain silent on this issue” and has promised to write to the Minister of International Relations on the matter and to submit parliamentary questions to her department at the next possible opportunity.