The cry for a stop to Hate Crimes and Hate Speech targeted at LGBTI+ persons in all their diversities has been reiterated for the past 20 years, however, South Africans were left in shock by the killings of six LGBTI+ persons in the past couple of weeks. The victims, whose names add to a long list of those who lost their lives to Hate Crimes, some of whom endured acts of rape and murder are, Andile “Lulu” Ntuthela from Eastern Cape, Melissa Charlene Dedericks, and Siphamandla Khoza from Kwa-Zulu Natal, Lonwabo Nolte from Western Cape, Bonang Gaelae, and Nathaniel “Spokgoane” Mbele from Gauteng. Rape cases have also increased, one of which AC2 has been monitoring and advocating for this month, where an adolescent lesbian girl in Atteridgeville, Gauteng, has been raped twice in one year.
The South African Constitution is hailed as progressive and one of the best in the world, however, the country continues to suffer from prejudice, discrimination and murders perpetrated by hate. Therefore, Access Chapter 2 (AC2) joins the call for the government to respond with a heightened sense of urgency in the passing of The Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill; and an impactful sensitization and awareness-raising intervention aimed at changing the social behaviour and attitudes in society.
AC2 emphasises the frustration that the delay in passing the Hate Crimes Bill is causing in the LGBTI+ community, this stagnancy leaves those targeted vulnerable to more Hate Speech and Hate Crimes. How many more have to lose their lives to these brutal acts of hate before the President of South Africa and Minister of Justice ensure that the legislation articulates the justice that the victims and survivors deserve? AC2 is concerned that the Department of Justice- National Task Team that was initially set up to deal with the hate crime cases in South Africa has now become dysfunctional due to lack of support by certain officials and have displayed discriminatory traits before their service to the country.
The government must ensure that all persons residing in South Africa enjoy equal Human Rights and are considered equal members of society despite their gender identity and sexual orientation. AC2 pleads with communities and allies to hold the government accountable in implementing harsher sentencing to acts of hate speech and hate crimes. Homophobia, transphobia and biphobia must be irradicated in our lifetime.
Access Chapter 2 calls on Government to:
- Speak out, condemn these barbaric acts and hold perpetrators of hate crimes to account.
- Deal with incompetency within Government departments, any homophobic, transphobic and biphobic officials must be held to account.
- Assess dysfunctionality of NTT and PTTs.
- Allocate resources for these task teams including implementation of the awareness campaign.
- Support victims of hate crimes and their families.
- Fast Track the finalisation of the Hate Crimes Legislation.
It is important for Government not to treat the LGBTI+ community as second-class citizens. It must act with urgency in ensuring the rights of all people are protected, promoted, and fulfilled as enshrined in the constitution.
For more information, contact:
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