Interaction between Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and her counterpart in Uganda regarding the legislation imposing life sentences for being gay

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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR ORAL REPLY

QUESTION NO: 2 (NO1042E)

PUBLISHED IN IQP NO.9-2014 OF 19 AUGUIST 2014

MS S V KALYAN (DA) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERTION:

(1) Whether she has interacted with her counterpart in Uganda regarding the legislation imposing life sentences for being gay; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

REPLY:

(1) The South African Government interacts bilaterally with countries on the basis of non-interference in domestic law through constructive discussion for the enhancement of mutually beneficial outcomes.  Accordingly, this matter was discussed during the Regular Diplomatic Consultations between South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation and the Ugandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kampala, during March 2014.

South Africa’s Constitutional position on this matter is clear.  South Africa views the respect for the promotion, protection and fulfilment of human rights and fundamental freedoms as a critical pillar of our domestic and foreign policies and it is thus so enshrined in our Constitution. The South African Government shall hence continue to promote respect for the human rights of all people in Africa and shall advocate for non-discrimination, including on grounds of sexual orientation as well as for equality before the law, at every opportunity in the multilateral and regional fora where these matters are discussed.

The Honourable Member will have noted that on 1 August 2014, the Ugandan Constitutional Court delivered a unanimous verdict that the Anti-Homosexuality Act (2014) was unconstitutional given the fact that Parliament had passed the law without the required quorum and had failed to adhere to the Parliamentary Rules of Procedure.  In response to the nullification of the Act, President Museveni has cautioned Members of Parliament and indicated that the (ruling) NRM parliamentary caucus will take the ruling under advisement to inform on possible future action.

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