The DA is hosting a Pride event in Rustenburg


The North West town of Rustenburg is holding what’s said to be its first Pride this Saturday. Unusually, the event is being hosted by a political party, specifically the DA’s North West LGBTIQ+ Committee.

Chair Bea Campbell-Cloete told Mambaonline that the committee decided to put on the event because it was much needed in the area and no one else had taken the initiative.

“Even though the DA is organising it, it is not a political [party] event. We feel that there have been so many anti LGBTI incidents in the North West, such as corrective rapes and murders, that we need to reach out to the community,” she said. Campbell-Cloete explained that the Pride was open to people from all political persuasions and that parties are welcome to have a presence at the event.

In the past year alone there have been at least three high profile LGBTI murders in the North West province: That of transgender woman Kagiso Ishmael Maema and of lesbian couple Anisha and Joey van Niekerk.

“It’s a very conservative area,” said Campbell-Cloete. “We are kind of testing the waters [to see what kind of response the Pride has]”.

In recent years, the DA has become one of the most vocal political party when it comes to supporting LGBTI equality, especially at the municipal and regional levels. This week, two DA councillors succeeded in having the ANC-led eThekwini Municipality approve the council’s first LGBTI-affirming motion. It was suggested that the motion may have been repeatedly rejected by the council speaker because it was a DA initiative.

In September, Ekurhuleni Pride in Gauteng was also the subject of controversy after the ANC-led municipality was accused of threatening to cancel its support for the event if the DA was allowed a stall.

North West activist Thabiso Mogapi wa Tsotetsi, Chairperson of Action For Social Justice International, said he feared that LGBTI issues were becoming increasingly politicised ahead of next year’s elections, to the long term detriment of the community.

“I do not have a problem with political parties hosting the Pride,” Tsotetsi told Mambaonline, “but my serious concern is when LGBTIQ+ issues start to be politicised.” Tsotetsi noted that it wasn’t just a DA matter but that “we also have seen on social media images or pictures of the ANC at the Johannesburg Pride even recruiting membership.”

He explained that, “My issue here or concern is if ALL political parties are now only going to be actively involved at the peak of the election campaigns and want to run with LGBTIQ+ issues that have been there for long. For example, the long existing LGBTIQ+ hate crime related cases which to me have not been getting equal treatment by politicians or different political parties.”

Tsotetsi added: “I hope political parties know the history of Pride and its intention.”

Rustenburg Pride is being held on Saturday 3 November from 11h00 to 14h30, at the W.A. Van Zyl Hall (72 Kremetart Avenue, Geelhout Park, Rustenburg). It will consist of speeches and a march.

If you have any enquiries contact Henning Lubbe (079 141 2728) or Vuyo Nyameni (082 531 2460).

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