The ANC has reportedly rejected the anti-gay views of South Africa’s traditional leaders and says it will not consider removing gay protection from the Constitution.

On Sunday, SAPA reported that the office of ANC Chief Whip Mathole Motshekga expressed its concern over recent comments made by ANC MP and chair of the
Constitutional Review Committee, Patekile Holomisa.

Holomisa, who is also president of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa), had earlier defended his committee’s decision to send a Contralesa proposal recommending the removal of sexual orientation protection from the Constitution to political parties for discussion.

The proposal is only one of two to not be rejected by the committee in its 17 year history.

Holomisa had told City Press that “the great majority” of South Africans did not support the right to equality of gay and lesbian people.

He insisted that most ANC MPs had only voted for same-sex marriage rights in Parliament in 2006 because they were forced to so by the party.

In response, Motshekga told SAPA: “The ANC caucus distances itself from these views and would like it noted that at no stage has it considered debating this issue before Parliament.”

He also affirmed the Constitution and its Bill of Rights as a cornerstone of democracy in South Africa and said that denying people the right to their sexual expression devalued them in broader society and affronted their dignity.

On Monday, Kgosi Thobejabe, General Secretary of Contralesa, told Talk Radio 702’s Redi Tlhabi that while gay people should be allowed to live in South Africa and no one should discriminate against them, it was “not right” to promote something that is “unnatural” through the legal protection of gays and lesbians.

He also suggested that a referendum should be held to assess if South Africans supported the constitutional protection of gays and lesbians.

A petition has been launched to demand that Holomisa and the Constitutional Review Committee halt any attempts to amend the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. You can sign it here.

Read more about the assault on LGBT rights by Contralesa here.

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