KZN “gays spread HIV” mayor unexpectedly resigns

Rev. James Mthethwa

Rev. James Mthethwa

The KwaZulu-Natal mayor who claimed that gay men were responsible for spreading HIV and vowed to “clamp down” on homosexuality has resigned.

The Reverend James Mthethwa, ANC Mayor of the Umzinyathi District, was quoted as saying last month that gay men brought shame on the community and that people should be warned about “the dangers of homosexuality.”

On Friday, Times Live reported that Mthethwa had unexpectedly resigned, although he denied that the move was linked to his homophobic comments.

“That’s true I have resigned, but it has nothing to do with what you are asking me,” said Mthethwa. “The [ANC] said it needed me to use my skills elsewhere. I was never trained to be mayor, that’s why I go anywhere the ANC deploys me, but they haven’t said anything for now.”

According to the newspaper, however, an ANC source insisted that Mthethwa was ordered to resign in large part as a result of his contentious comments.

Following a media furore, Mthethwa at first denied making the remarks, but the municipality later said that he apologised to “those who were offended directly or indirectly” and retracted the comments.

The ANC also publicly condemned Mthethwa’s views as “misplaced, uninformed and extremely regrettable.”

There is speculation that Mthethwa is being redeployed to the National Council of Provinces.

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