Pretoria – A non-profit organisation which advocates for the rights and safety of the queer community has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to address the the LGBTQIA+ community in his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Thursday.
The organisation, Iranti, advocates for the rights of LGBTQIA+ community in South Africa and across the continent.
Iranti spokesperson Nolwazi Tusini said Ramaphosa has addressed issues around gender-based violence, femicide, hate crimes and human rights violations, particularly brutal attacks on LGBTQIA+ people, however, this was not enough.
“We are calling on the president to go further and directly address the myriad of issues facing the LGBTQIA+ community.
“We want the president to commit state officials and state resources to ensuring an end to discrimination and of violence against LGBTQIA+ people, as envisaged by our Constitution,” Tusini said.
Tusini said there was no law for transgender and non-binary people to amend their gender markers on their identification documents, except for Act 49 which allows transgender people, who have begun their medical transition, and intersex persons to change their sex on their identity documents.
“This law is currently being challenged by trans and intersex movements, who have applied for amendments with the Department of Home Affairs.
“At the same time, intersex-born infants and children are being subjected to non-consensual, medically unnecessary, irreversible genital surgeries and other harmful medical treatments in order to make their sex characteristics fit the binary of male or female.”
The organisation said it wants legal protection for intersex people and sit-down discussions with health-care policymakers to put an end to this practice.
“There is no health risk to being intersex. Children should be allowed to decide for themselves what should happen to their bodies,’’ said Tusini.
Tusini added that they wanted their voices to be heard and wanted to be addressed as part of South Africa.