Cape Town Pride says it won’t be intimidated by queerphobic statements made by Pagad national coordinator Haroon Orrie
With the Cape Town Pride Festival underway, the radical group Pagad has characterised the LGBTQ+ community as no better than thieves or those who commit incest and said that queer people should be punished by God with death.
On Thursday last week, Pagad (People Against Gangsterism and Drugs) national coordinator Haroon Orrie delivered his group’s “state of the nation address” in the Mother City.
“Those who support, those who promote LGBTQ and those who are involved in this type of behaviour, their punishment by the almighty God is death,” he said to shouts of support from the audience.
“Gun rights, homosexuality, prostitution, alcohol, drugs, theft, gambling, incest, you name it,” Orrie continued. “This is the golden calf that the people are worshipping today in this country. So how do we expect to prosper and thrive as a nation if we go against the instruction of the divine creator?”
Pagad, which was formed in 1996 as a response to the scourge of gangsterism in the Cape Flats area of Cape Town, became infamous for its acts of vigilante justice, including murder. It has also been described as a radical Islamic group.
“Pride will not be deterred by utterances from a fringe group.”
Evan Tsouroulis, Cape Town Pride marketing and parade coordinator, told Mamba that he was not overly concerned by the group’s “outbursts”.
“Cape Town Pride is aware of the recent outbursts from Pagad regarding the LGBTQ+ community. These outbursts are not new and are something we take in our stride,” said Tsouroulis.
He noted that Cape Town Pride is expecting several religious denominations to participate in the pride parade on 4 March.
“Pagad’s extremist views are not representative of the views of the majority of Capetonians. However, it is when outbursts such as these occur that we are reminded why we still need Pride.”
Tsouroulis added that “Pride is a day of celebration and protest, and [the LGBTQ+ community] will not be deterred by utterances from a fringe group.”
In October last year, the US government warned of a terror attack who many believed was intended to target the Johannesburg Pride march. Thankfully, under heightened security, the event went ahead without incident.
Tsouroulis said he is confident that the Cape Town Pride Parade and post-parade celebrations will be safe and secure.
“A big event like this cannot go ahead without a safety plan in place and Cape Town Pride will be in continuous discussion with the relevant authorities to ensure the safety of all participants and spectators at the Pride parade,” he said.
The 2023 Cape Town Pride Festival kicked off on 9 February and will continue to host a series of events, such as movie screenings, workshops, and a cruise, leading up the parade in Green Point’s de Waterkant district on 4 March. More details can be found here.