While South Africa has made strides in combating crimes against the Lesbian Gay Bisexual transgender Queer, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA+) community, Justice Minister Ronald Lamola says the fight is far from over as many continue being subjected to discrimination.
Lamola was speaking at the LGBTQIA+ Inclusion and Empowerment Workshop held at Constitutional Hill on Wednesday, 13 October 2021.
“We live in a constitutional democracy which strives to ensure freedom, human dignity and equality for all – yet for LGBTIQ+ persons, these ideals are unattainable for so long as they face discrimination and violence in their daily lives,” Lamola said.
Lamola calls for protection of LGBTQI rights
Ronald Lamola says South Africans cannot claim to seek human rights, while they are being denied to the LGBTQI community in the country.
He adds that as government, there are various interventions that have been spearheaded to promote and protect the interests of the country’s LGBTQI community. These include his department’s Rapid Response Team which “seeks to track and monitor hate crimes committed against LGBTIQ+ persons”.
Another example, which Lamola noted, is the Hate Speech Bill.
“The Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill, which is currently before the National Assembly, has the capacity to, once enacted, not only ensure that justice is dispensed in matters of this nature, but also aims to prevent these attacks before they occur.”
Justice Minister Ronald Lamola
Lamola used part of his address to also pay tribute to about 20 people who were killed because of their sexuality, this year alone.
“On numerous occasions in our communities, we see people choosing violence instead of embracing and celebrating diversity. I urge our communities to reflect on what prompts them to respond with such violence, intolerance and disdain to people who are of a different sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sexual characteristics,” he said.