The African National Congress has noted the clarification of comments made about gay people given by Umzinyathi District Mayor, Comrade James Mthethwa to KZN based radio station, East Coast Radio yesterday, 27 August 2015. In it the Mayor indicates that in his input he sought to reaffirm the right of any citizen to their sexual preferences, that his comments may have been misinterpreted and that his core message was to promote “good behaviour”. Notwithstanding the explanation provided by the Mayor, the ANC believes that the comments attributed to him and reported in the Sowetan newspaper under the headline “ANC Mayor bashes gays yesterday, 27 August 2015, were misplaced, uninformed and extremely regrettable.
The African National Congress is and remains committed to the fight against discrimination in any form whatsoever. The Freedom Charter, our prime political mandate, enjoins us to the demand that “All shall enjoy equal human rights”. At the adoption of the The Republic of South Africa Constitution Bill, former ANC President Thabo Mbeki, succinctly captured the spirit with which the ANC embraces not only the Bill of Rights but the Constitution in its entirety, with its entrenched inalienable rights to equality, human dignity and freedom and security of the person, when he said “I have seen what happens when one person who has superiority of force over another, when the stronger appropriate to themselves the prerogative even to annul the injuction that God created all men and women in His image”
Discrimination against any peoples is not the policy of the African National Congress and thus can never be condoned. The ANC remains at the forefront of efforts to eradicate all stigma against the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Intersex Community; members of the ANC are expected therefore to conduct themselves in line with our proud legacy of being the first country in the world to have a Constitution that outlaws discrimination, at any level including in the provision of healthcare, on the basis of sexual orientation. The ANC therefore appeals to Comrade Reverend James Mthethwa to withdraw any statement which could be construed as “gay bashing” or discriminatory in any way.
Issued by ANC