WhatsApp hate group incites violence against LGBTQ+ South Africans


Almost 700 people have joined a hate speech WhatsApp group formed to support the Gqeberha store that has banned LGBTQ+ people. The group has become a hotbed of hate mongering, fake news, conspiracies, and incitement to violence.

The group was created in response to the backlash against the La Gardi packaging, spice, dairy, and baking store after it displayed a chalkboard sign outside its doors last week stating: “LGBTQ not welcome at La Gardi – Save our Children.”

Dawood Lagardien, the shop’s owner, has refused to remove the sign, insisting that he has the right to refuse entry to queer people. He claims the sign aims to highlight the “threat” posed by the LGBTQ+ community against society and children, and that this community’s “lifestyle” is being “forced down our throat.”

The WhatsApp group, named “Our rights – anti-LGBTQ+,” was launched a few days later and quickly gained hundreds of members. The group’s profile image shows a graphic of a child looking sad with the text: “Stop the f*gs.” It falsely states: “92% of children raised by gay parents are abused. 51% have depression. 72% are obese.”

Many of the comments and posts on the group cite the Islamic faith and its values as the basis for opposing LGBTQ+ people. One post claims that “the LGBTIQIA+ community is declaring war” on Islam and its morals, posing “a clear and present danger.”

It further alleges that the LGBTQ+ community is forcing the government “to enshrine their filthy inhumane beliefs into our schools…” The post calls for Muslims to unite to “fight this pure demonic evil that is being ‘willfully forced’ on our children.”

Disturbingly, there have been several comments posted that appear to incite violence against LGBTQ+ people. One person states that “LGBTQ is a blatant attack on Islam. Force is the only option,” and calls for Muslims “to crush these evil vermin from within.”

Another member wrote: “We need to find out the main sauce [sic] of these ideas to our children and adults and the world… We must finish them.” This comment is followed by emojis of fists. An image of what appears to be a hunting knife was also posted on the group.

Several hate-promoting videos have been shared on the group, including clips of the notoriously homophobic Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa. One video claims that the LGBTQ+ community “is now transgenderising our children. They are manipulating and indoctrinating African children to undergo sexual surgery so they’ll never be able to reproduce again.”

Several of the group’s members expressed their intention to launch a broader campaign against the LGBTQ+ community. Some suggested creating a Facebook page for their cause, but others pointed out that it would likely be blocked by Facebook.

MambaOnline understands that the SA Human Rights Commission is already aware of the group.

The LGBTQ+ community in Gqeberha is urged to be cautious in light of the growing anti-LGBTQ sentiment in the city.

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