ANCWL to launch LGBTQ+ desk to tackle rampant hate crime
Kimberley - In a bid to accommodate the largely marginalised and forsaken Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) community, the ANC women’s league (ANCWL) will on Friday launch a special desk for them.
The desk would offer space for members of this community to express themselves and also influence the whole movement in its articulation, policies and resolutions.
The desk would be launched in Kimberley, just a day before the 2020 celebration of the ANC’s January 8 rally, which would be held to celebrate the 108th anniversary of the ANC’s formation in 1912 in Mangaung.
The league’s secretary-general, Meokgo Matuba, told Independent Media on Sunday that one of the organisation’s objectives with this was to campaign for an end to all forms of violence against women, children and other vulnerable groups.
She said it was a known fact that the LGBTQ+ community faced homophobic attacks and, in some instances, get killed in this country.
“According to a five-year report by the Hate Crimes Working Group, the most discriminated-against group in South Africa are the LGBTQI+ community, with 35% of hate crimes reported coming from LGBTQ+ people. This happens despite the protection of LGBTQI+ community rights being enshrined in section 9 of the Constitution, which forbids discrimination on the basis of sex, gender or sexual orientation,” she said.
The ANC is one of the few parties that would have such a desk. While the women’s league has been heavily criticised for selectively picking cases of gender violence, it has in the past spoken out against it.
Its last known public appearance in court to support a victim was in Ramasodi, in North West, in the case of Karabo Bahurutse, who was stabbed 25 times by her killer.
Matuba said as a result of that, since their last elective conference they have continued to engage in dialogue with the LGBTQ+ community. She said it was through these engagements that the current leadership had resolved to elevate issues of the LGBTQ+s within their gender developmental agenda.
“The NEC Lekgotla of the ANCWL resolved that the Women’s League needed to ensure gender struggle in its broadest sense was high up on the agenda. We resolved that the league lead a dialogue and initiate educational programmes to address the stigma and hate around issues of gender identity. Our aims and objectives informing the desk are to ensure that the dialogue on gender issues needs to be inclusive of challenges faced by the LGBTQI+ community,” Matuba said.
Asked how the desk would work to help the community, Matuba said firstly, the desk would define its own missions, visions and programme of action as the Young Women’s Desk had done after it was launched.
“The desk will also advocate for safety and security of the LGBTQ sector and how cases pertaining to LGBTQ’s are handled by the police. Police stations must be safe zones for the LGBTQIA+ communities.”