File photo: Reuters

Johannesburg - A new political party, with a focus on gender issues, would contest the national elections this year, Equal Rights Party spokesman, Michael Herbst, said on Saturday.

The party would concentrate on issues of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, Herbst said.

The party was formed because women were being raped if they were suspected to be lesbian, and children were bullied when they were perceived to be gay, he said.

“We have this wonderful constitution that says no one can discriminate against another person on the grounds of gender and sexual orientation, yet nothing comes of it.”

The government did not speak out against corrective rape.

“We need someone in Parliament who will speak out on gender and sexual issues. We need someone that will say we are not going to tolerate this any more,” he said.

Independent Electoral Commission spokeswoman Kate Bapela said parties would be registered for the elections once an election date had been announced by the president. – Sapa