ANCWL launch LGBT+ desk to tackle hate crime

South Africa - Cape Town - 09 September 2019 - ANCWL members march against women and gender based violence. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)
The ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) launched a special desk on Friday January 10 that will accommodate the marginalised LGBTQ+ community and offer them a safe haven to be free during a time when hate crimes against the community seem to be rampant.

Launching just a day before the 2020 celebration of the ANC’s January 8 rally, Meokgo Matuba, the league’s secretary-general spoke to Independent Media where she said that the organisation’s aim in initialising this campaign was to help bring an end to all forms of violence towards women, children and
vulnerable groups.

She emphasised that the LGBTQ+ community face on-going homophobic attacks, and are very well killed in this country merely for their sexual orientation.

“According to a five-year report by the Hate Crimes Working Group, the most discriminated-against group in South Africa are the LGBTQI+ community, with 35% of hate crimes reported coming from LGBTQ+ people. This happens despite the protection of LGBTQI+ community rights being enshrined in
section 9 of the Constitution, which forbids discrimination on the basis of sex, gender or sexual orientation,” she said.

The campaign was launched in Kimberly and the ANC is one of the few parties with such a desk. Matuba said that the case of Karabo Bahurutse, who was stabbed 25 times by her killer in Ramasodi, North West was the catalyst for their last elective conference to engage with the LGBTQ+

“The NEC Lekgotla of the ANCWL resolved that the Women’s League needed to ensure gender struggle in its broadest sense was high up on the agenda. We resolved that the league lead a dialogue and initiate educational programmes to address the stigma and hate around issues of gender identity. Our
aims and objectives informing the desk are to ensure that the dialogue on gender issues needs to be inclusive of challenges faced by the LGBTQI+ community,” Matuba said.

Matuba said the desk would define its own missions, visions and programme of action in the same way that the Young Women’s Desk had done when it was launched.

“The desk will also advocate for safety and security of the LGBTQ sector and how cases pertaining to LGBTQ’s are handled by the police. Police stations must be safe zones for the LGBTQIA+ communities”.