Lindiwe Mazibuko, DA Parliamentary Leader

The DA says it is outraged by the failure of President Zuma to condemn the draconian anti-gay legislation passed in Uganda earlier this year.

On Tuesday, the President replied to a question by Lindiwe Mazibuko, the DA’s Parliamentary Leader, asking for clarity on the government’s position on the law.

He stated in a written response that “South Africa respects the sovereign rights of other countries to adopt their own legislation”.

Mazibuko described his comment as “an insult to our constitution and to President Mandela’s human rights inspired foreign policy. President Zuma, and the entire leadership of the ANC, should hang their heads in shame.”

“The international community did not adopt a ‘hands off’ approach to Apartheid South Africa,” she argued. “We should likewise not stand quietly by as our President adopts this shameful approach when other countries violate the human rights of their people.”

Mazibuko added that “To do so is to send a message to the rest of the world that we are hypocrites.”

Uganda’s anti-gay legislation will imprison for life anyone who engages in gay sex and is in a gay relationship or marriage. It also allows for between five and seven years in jail or a $40,700 fine or both for the “promotion” of homosexuality.

“One would think a country with a painful history of discrimination like ours, would be the first to condemn such horrid crimes against humanity,” said Mazibuko.

Uganda is one of 37 African countries that criminalise homosexuality.

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