Deputy President Mabuza. File photo: Siyabulela Duda/GCIS.

Johannesburg - The main opposition Democratic Alliance on Friday asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to rebuke his deputy David Mabuza for refusing to publicly condemn attacks and human rights abuses levelled against members of the LGBTQI+ community across Africa.

South Africa's Consitution outlaws discrimination based on sexual orientation, and the country was fifth country in the world and remains the only one in Africa to legalise same-sex marriage.

Homosexuality however remains illegal in African countries such as neighbouring Zimbabwe and Uganda, where the government has however denied planning to impose the death penalty for gay sex.

In response to a question from a DA legislator during a session in the National Council of Provinces about whether he would take a stand to condemn the abuses, Mabuza's answer was: "Let's be decent and keep our mouths shut."

The response smacked of cowardice, DA parliamentary leader John Steenhuisen said in a statement.

"It cannot be this government’s stance to keep quiet in the face of an assault on the rights of fellow Africans," he said, adding that Mabuza had violated one of the responsibilities assigned to the deputy president, namely to assist the president in efforts towards building a better Africa.

"It appears that Mabuza has chosen to “keep his mouth shut” instead of performing his responsibility," said Steenhuisen.

"Therefore, I call on President Cyril Ramaphosa to strongly rebuke Deputy President Mabuza’s remarks and blatant refusal to condemn these actions, and to break this government’s silence by taking a strong public stance against the attack on LGBTQI+ Africans in many countries on the continent."

African News Agency (ANA)