Johannesburg -

For the upcoming elections, not all parties are in the race for winning. Some, like the Equal Rights Party, are in it to raise awareness on issues they deem important. And the important issues, according to the party, is the rights for lesbians, gays, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTi) people in the country.

Party president and spokesman Professor Michael Herbst said the party was started after huge incidents of corrective rapes on lesbians last year.

“We have the most beautiful constitution in the world but when it comes to implementing the Bill of Rights there is very little support.

“When the current president came into office, he elected Mr (Jon) Qwelane as ambassador to Uganda. He is as homophobic as can be, and the Equality Court has found him guilty of hate speech.

“Other people have asked why we do not join forces with other, bigger parties. But as you saw with the whole Agang and DA thing, the parties are more interested in white faces and black faces.

“The rights of gay people are of no consequence.

“We will not lose focus when in parliament. We will continue to say that bullying at school just because you are gay is wrong.”

He said that the Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana was not doing a good job in advancing the rights of minority groups.

“When last did you see the minister? You will hear from her now that Oscar (Pistorius) is on trial. She will be running around Pretoria saying Oscar must rot in jail.

“When was the last time you heard from the Human Rights Commission or the Gender Commission?”

To get the 500 signatures required by the Independent Electoral Commission before registering a party, Equal Rights Party recruited people from gay clubs and universities across the country.

The party was registered in January and hopes to at least get a seat in parliament. He said it was unclear how many members the party has.

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Pretoria News