Zizipho Pae believes she is being victimised for her homophobia (Pic: Facebook)
Expelled SRC Vice-President Zizipho Pae has insisted that she is the real victim for saying that gay people are sinful.
Pae caused a firestorm last month when she described the legalisation of same-sex marriage in the USA as “institutionalising and normalising sin,” adding, “May God have mercy on us”.
She subsequently refused to retract the Facebook post, further commenting that as a Christian she believes that homosexuality is “not okay”.
In a statement posted on her page on Friday, Pae raged against her detractors and bizarrely argued that she’s been “maliciously” branded “as a homophobe”.
She appears to believe that because her bigoted views are based on her religious beliefs, this apparently exempts her from being called a homophobe.
“I respect that my conviction may be different to that of the LGBTQIA+ community, but that does not make me a ‘homophobe’ or my conviction ‘hate speech,'” she insisted.
“Never did I imagine that a comment in my personal capacity on my personal wall, on a news event that people around the world have commented on in social media and elsewhere, would lead to such violent reaction against me.”
Pae went on to reveal that she has written to the Vice-Chancellor of UCT advising that she does not accept her expulsion from the SRC at a meeting on 21 July, which she described as “undoubtedly… irregular ” and the decision as “illegitimate.”
“I have requested the Vice-Chancellor to exercise his power to review the decision, and for UCT to intervene in order to protect my rights,” she said.
“The South African Constitution guarantees the human right to freedom of expression (section 16) and also to freedom of conscience, religion, belief and opinion (section 15), to every person. This means that everyone (Christians, the LGBTQIA+ community and everyone else) should be free to say what they believe – even if others disagree therewith,” she argued.
Pae also complained of being victimised for her beliefs, including receiving “hate mail” on Facebook and having “suffered various instances of intimidation, harassment and threats, had my office vandalised, and also had members of the LGBTQIA+ community take lewd pictures in my office which they then posted on my Facebook wall.”
She further claimed that requests were made to Allan Gray, her bursary holder, to withdraw her bursary.
In response to Pae’s statement, LGBT activist and former UCT student Scott Fuller wrote: “We need to stand up against this, firmly. I am sick and tired of religious people thinking they have more rights than us as Queer+ people, and then having the audacity to say we’re persecuting them when we call them out on their bigotry and hate.”
Sané Erasmus added: “Freedom of speech does not constitute the right to disrespect someone else’s existence. With rights come responsibilities.”
Since her controversial comments, Pae has become something of a poster child for South Africa’s anti-gay Christian lobby, which argues that LGBT rights are an infringement of religious liberty.