Francois Nel and David Kato (Pic: Jocelyn Edwards)
Members of the LGBTI community are urged to join Mr. Gay South Africa, Francois Nel, on Friday in laying flowers at the Ugandan embassy in honour of slain activist David Kato.
The ceremony is supported by NGOs and organisations such as OUT Well-being, AMSHeR (African Men for Sexual Health and Rights), the Pink Loerie Mardi Gras & Arts Festival Committee and Mambaonline.com.
The wreath-laying and vigil will take place outside the Ugandan High Commission at 882 Church Street, Arcadia, Pretoria on Friday 28 January at 5pm.
“The vigil is being held to commemorate David Kato’s life – for living true to his natural identity – and is a celebration of the work he has done for our community,” said Nel.
“We will remember you and work harder for a world where we all have equal human rights, irrespective of sexuality. We grieve this sad loss and stand together in solidarity with the LGTBI community in Uganda.”
Caar’i Flora of Waterkloof, in Pretoria, will supply the wreath that Nel will be laying. The organisers have asked other florists to contact Nel at email@example.com if they also wish to donate flowers for the event.
The LGBTI community is called upon to attend the vigil or, if they cannot do so on Friday, to add to the flowers at the High Commission in Church Street at any time thereafter.
Kato, a leading LGBT rights activist with Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), was bludgeoned to death with a hammer on Wednesday afternoon in his home by an unknown assailant or assailants.
He has been described as a hero in the struggle against the growing wave of social and political homophobia sweeping across his homeland and Africa.
On Thursday, Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ), which has itself been on the receiving end of official persecution, joined the growing chorus of voices condemning Kato’s murder.
“We are stunned and horrified by the news of his death: not only was his demise terrible and untimely, he was a leading light and strength within the Ugandan LGBTI movement. We have lost a great source of inspiration. Let his death encourage us to redouble our efforts to make Africa a safe place for all, including LGBTI people,” said GALZ in a statement.