Academy guilty of rights violations

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IOL news Pregs Govender Independent Newspapers SA Human Rights Commission deputy-chairwoman Pregs Govender. File photo by: Timothy Bowle.


Bloemfontein - Bloemfontein arts academy Creare Training Centre has been found guilty of human rights violation, the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) said on Monday.

“(It is) violating the rights to equality, dignity, religion, freedom of association, freedom and security of the person, and education as enshrined in the Constitution,” SAHRC spokesman Isaac Mangena said in a statement.

The justice ministry had asked the commission to investigate claims of unfair discrimination at the Creare Training Centre in Bloemfontein in January.

Deputy Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Andries Nel told the commission the centre had a prospectus “Relationship Etiquette”, which opposed same sex relationships, and called for discipline or barring gays and lesbians from attending classes.

“The commission rejects the exclusionary provision in the relationship etiquette and the justification offered by Creare Training Centre,” said Mangena.

The Sunday Times reported in January that the Christian arts academy had come under fire for advertising that it could “cure” homosexual students.

According to the centre's prospectus, they could “convert” gay students into heterosexuals through “rehabilitation”, it reported.

Creare founder Cornelius van Heyningen denied the institution was discriminatory.

“We are catering for those who say 'I want to change as a homosexual'. That's not saying no homosexuals are allowed,” he was quoted as saying.

He compared the academy's stance on homosexuality to a drug rehabilitation programme.

The commission recommended that the prospectus be reviewed and amended within three months. - Sapa

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