France’s First Lady, Valerie Trierweiler, who is also a political journalist, is expected to have lunch with gay and lesbian groups in Johannesburg today.
According to AFP, Trierweiler – accompanied by French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira – will also meet with a lesbian couple.
The meetings are expected to deal with the plight of many lesbian women in South Africa who face ongoing homophobia and hate crime attacks, including incidents of so called ‘corrective rape’.
The South African government has faced international embarrassment over a wave of violent attacks on LGBT people in recent years.
Trierweiler is in South Africa as part of French President François Hollande’s two day official State Visit to South Africa.
This visit is aimed at reinforcing ties between the two countries and will include a meeting between President Hollande and President Zuma, an Economic Forum and visits to symbolic sites in South Africa.
France has been a vocal supporter of LGBT equality on the international stage. The country was, however, shaken by months of sometimes violent opposition to the legalisation of same-sex marriage in April.