Status on the Issue of the Criminalisation of Homosexuality throughout Africa raised by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY 

FOR ORAL REPLY

QUESTION NO: 336 (NW361E) 

MR KS MUBU OF THE DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE TO ASK THE MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION:

  1. Whether she raised the issue of the criminalisation of homosexuality throughout Africa with any of her African counterparts; if not, why not; if so, (a) when, (b) with which counterparts, (c) on what platform and (d) what was the outcome of the discussions in each case;

  2. whether the Government is concerned that an increasing homophobic tendency is gaining momentum across Africa; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;

  3. whether the Government intends submitting a resolution to the African Union calling for equal rights before the law irrespective of sexual orientation; if not, why not; if so, when?        

REPLY:

  1. The government continues to highlight the issue of promotion and protection of human rights as one of the core tenets of our foreign policy. However within this terrain the government is fully cognisant of the reach and the influence of its national laws and policies and cannot begin to presume that its laws can apply in other sovereign countries.

  2. The government has observed with deep regret the sudden rise in incidents of homophobic tendency and the violence that has arisen because of sexual orientation. The Government has further been concerned with other Human Rights abuses taking place across the continent and has been utilising proper avenues to address its concerns.

  3. No, the government is not intending to submit a resolution to the African Union calling for equal rights before the law irrespective of sexual orientation. It would be recalled that the government has always given prominence to the issues of Human and People’s rights and has contributed and acceded to the African Union instruments that advocate such e.g. the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. South Africa continues to participate in the drafting of the African Union Human Rights Strategy which amongst others makes recommendations with respect to exchanging the inter-relations amongst all African Union Organs to better promote and protect human rights on the continent.

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