Silent protest against homophobic attack

Andrew Louw MPL

DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate

Note:  This extract is based on a speech delivered by Andrew Louw in Kimberley this morning.

Good morning and thank you to everyone for coming at such short notice to this very important gathering.

A special word of welcome to Tebogo Makwati, our representative from the Diamond Gay and Lesbian Organisation, as well as to Shaine Griqua, the representative from the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Organisation.

We are sad and disturbed to be standing here today.

Our Monday morning was soured by the shocking news that a gay man from Schmidtsdrift had been brutally gang raped and set alight in a homophobic attack in Lerato Park over the weekend.

It is ironic that this vicious attack follows on after the DA held an anti-violence march in the Kimberley CBD on Saturday.

At our march, we spoke out against violence.

We highlighted just how sick society had become. We spoke about the horrific rapes of the 6-week old baby, as well as the rape and murder of the 87-year old grandmother in Galeshewe last year.

We are despondent to see that violence is still escalating.

It is UNIMAGIBALE that people within our very own society have acted with such evil.

It is UNACCEPTABLE that people within our very own society are ignoring the Bill of Rights, and are violating others’ right to safety and human dignity.

It is INTOLERABLE that people are victimized because of their sexual orientation.

At this time, we need a strong government can stamp out violence and lawlessness.

We need a government than can take the lead and lead with morality. A government that can set an example. But when the President of the country has no moral credibility because of his own corruption, then a government cannot lead us out of lawlessness.

We will not keep quiet on this surge in violence though.

Our voices will heard as the DA stands in solidarity with the LGBTI community to condemn this and other vicious homophobic attacks. We stand with every community that wants to stop violence and lawlessness.

THERE IS NO PLACE FOR CRIMINALS IN THE NORTHERN CAPE!

We also want to take this time to condemn the brutal murder and rape of a woman behind the Lerato Place of Safety over the weekend.

We want to reiterate that the 16 days activism campaign against violence against women and children, which typically takes place in December every year, should be a 365 day campaign.

We call on the powers that be to broaden the scope of this campaign to include violence against the LGBTI community – for this too is a form of gender-based violence.

In closing, we call on the police to do everything in their power to ensure that the perpetrators of this crime are brought to book and that members of the LGBTI community, as well as women, can feel safe in their own communities again.

We will now tape our mouths closed and partake in a silent protest to show our condemnation of these unspeakable crimes.

Protection FOR ALL!

Justice FOR ALL!