Another anti-LGBTIQ+ shop sign emerges in Gqeberha


In a concerning development, a new offensive and discriminatory sign targeting the LGBTIQ+ community has surfaced in Gqeberha, this time at a mall car wash.

The professionally designed poster boldly proclaims: “Stop this evil. No lesbians. No gays. No bisexuals. No transgenders. No queers. Anti-LGBTQ. Save our children.”

The shocking poster was positioned prominently on the storefront of the Moffett Car Spa at the Moffett on Main Lifestyle Centre. Several TikTok users, including Mbali Maf, brought attention to the display through videos shared with their followers.

Echoes of previous La Gardi incident

The poster echoes a similar message to that of the anti-LGBTIQ+ sign erected at the La Gardi store in July, which made headlines and led to an Equality Court case being opened against the shop owner by the SA Human Rights Commission.

However, unlike the La Gardi incident, both the car wash owner and mall management have distanced themselves from the latest sign.

The Moffett on Main Lifestyle Centre issued a statement claiming that the poster had been placed on the store window without their permission by an unknown individual. The car wash also extended an apology for the “unpleasant shopping experience.”

“The poster was removed immediately we became aware of it,” said the mall, adding “We would like to ensure that our centre is regarded as a safe and inclusive environment free from any forms of discrimination.”

Mall management further expressed their regret that the centre has been associated with the poster and its message, asserting that they were unaware of its presence until it was reported.

“The sentre supports South Africa’s Bill of Rights which forms part of our country’s Constitution and stands opposed to any form of unlawful discrimination,” the mall added.

Poster was placed on the inside of the store window

The duration during which the poster was displayed at the car wash remains unclear, but a social media video of the poster emerged on 25 August, while the centre appears to only have taken it down around 29 August.

The poster is believed to be linked to supporters of the La Gardi store’s ban on LGBTIQ+ customers and once again underscores the Eastern Cape’s concerning reputation in terms of LGBTIQ+ equality and inclusion.

East London activist Sikhander Coopoo noted that, based on a video recording of the poster, it appeared to have been affixed from the inside of the car wash rather than the outside. He emphasised that this incident reflects the worsening anti-queer sentiments not only in Gqeberha but also across the continent.

“Over the last few years, religious zealots have become emboldened in their hate. This coupled, with right-wing parties clamouring for the conservative vote, make a lethal cocktail. We need to, however, use our law, institutions such as the Human Rights Commission and civil society to educate and push back hard with heavy penalties against this bigotry and hate,” Coopoo told MambaOnline.

He called on Moffet on Main to engage with LGBTIQ+ NGOs in the area for guidance on effective measures to ensure that staff, tenants, and shoppers can experience the shopping centre as a genuinely inclusive and safe space.

Sibonelo Ncanana, OUT’s Human Rights Coordinator in Gqeberha, said the organisation was alarmed by the new sign. “We are concerned because it will incite violence and put queer people’s lives at risk. We hope that the SA Human Rights Commission will act swiftly in trying to stop the people who are perpetrating this,” commented Ncanana.

Coopoo, along with others, has lodged a complaint about the poster with the SA Human Rights Commission.

@mbali.maf #stitch with @Mbali.maf #greenscreen speacial thank you to @Terri Bezuidenhout and @karabo ♬ original sound – Mbali.maf

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