The Democratic Alliance (DA) has confirmed that they will be looking into the recent homophobic tweet about author and talk show host Eusebius McKaiser.
McKaiser is a gay author and radio personality for Radio702 talk show. However, he was criticized by Ghaleb Cachalia, a member of the DA caucus, who described him as “a woman scorned”.
Many saw his tweet as perpetuating the homophobic trope that gay men are or want to be women, but Cachalia refused to apologise and instead complained about political correctness and identity politics.
McKaiser hit back at Cachalia in an open letter, saying that “the notion that I am a woman, or like a woman does not in itself offend me” and that this “comparison with women isn’t a problem”.
“What is problematic is the purpose of the slur in terms of its socio-linguistic and political history. That matters. Cachalia is instinctively drawing from the old well of insults that aim to mock gay men by feminizing them. Cachalia, just like the bully who called me ‘sisi-bhuti’ – is making his point by killing two
birds with one stone”.
McKaiser questioned why the DA had refused to speak out about the incident. Especially, since the party paints itself as LGBTQ affirming.
“Our moral inconsistencies ultimately indict us all,” wrote McKaiser for Africa is a Country.
Cachalia issued an apology in which he said he had “meant no ill nor harm in employing the phrase”. He pointed out the double standards in that he often “heard gay friends (and even, McKaiser) refer to one another as she, a queen, a drama queen and the like…”
“Anyone who knows me will be aware of my track record that stands up for gay rights and that condemns the actions of countries that have abhorrent laws discriminating against LGBQTI people across the globe…” he added.
The DA’s chief whip Steenhuisen told journalists on May 27 that that Cachalia’s tweet, along with another by MP Michael Cardo concerning mental health issues, would be addressed as possible contraventions of the party’s social media policy.
“Mr Cachalia’s matter has been referred to the party’s federal legal commission for investigation,” DA federal council chairperson James Selfe also confirmed to Daily Maverick.