Gay community stands up to PRM party

Nhlanhla Buthelezi Picture: Supplied

Nhlanhla Buthelezi Picture: Supplied

Published Feb 15, 2019


Durban - Durban’s Lesbian and Gay Community and Health Centre has vowed to use all constitutional measures to prevent political parties from campaigning for the general elections on policies that attempt to violate the rights of people in same-sex relationships.

This comes after the Durban-based People’s Revolutionary Movement (PRM) said it wanted to be elected into the provincial and national parliaments so it could have a platform to fight for the banning of the rights of “gays and lesbians”.

The party, which claims to have more than 10000 members and scores of sympathisers, is expected to launch its election manifesto in uMlazi, south of Durban, on Sunday.

The centre’s project co-ordinator, Sibongile Khumalo, said gays and lesbians’ rights were enshrined in the Constitution, and would be defended.

“If they campaign against us, we will go out to campaign against them, since the Constitution does not allow for gender and race discrimination.

“We will use the Constitution to tell them that they cannot conduct campaigns by violating other people’s rights,” said Khumalo.

She said they were also relying on the Human Rights Commission and the Commission for Gender Equality for protection.

The PRM’s leader, former ANC councillor Nhlanhla Buthelezi, controversially called for reduced rights for gays and lesbians in the lead-up to the 2016 local government election.

Spokesperson Thembelani Ngubane said on Thursday that the party would continue with its controversial campaign.

“The same-sex marriage law is wrong,” he said.

Ngubane said his party also wanted the government to stop employing foreign nationals “as there are millions of unemployed South Africans”.

He said the PRM wanted the government to ban the import of foreign products such as cars, TVs and cellphones.

He said his party had already raised a deposit of R605000 to contest the provincial and national elections.

Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) spokesperson Kate Papela said parties would only pay the registration fees after the election date, May 8, had been gazetted.

She said the IEC did not have powers to deal with offences that did not directly affect free and fair elections.

“The IEC only administers elections to make sure that there is a healthy democracy. If a party looks to violate human rights, then the Human Rights Commission must be approached; if it is strictly election issues, then you have the Electoral Court,” she said.

Papela said the IEC would release the electoral code of conduct for parties when President Cyril Ramaphosa had proclaimed the election date.

She said there were about 500 parties registered with the commission.

Political Bureau

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