South Africa’s third largest political party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), marched to Uganda’s Embassy in Pretoria on Tuesday, April 4th, in protest against the anti-LGBTQ+ bill passed by Uganda’s Parliament in March. The protest was led by the EFF’s leader Julius Malema who, along with a throng of members of the party dressed in red and holding up placards, marched in solidarity with Uganda’s LGBTQ+ community. Malema spoke outside the Ugandan embassy, draped in the multicolored flag that represents the LGBTQ+ community.
“This bill is anti-human because gay rights are human rights. How are you going to identify that a person is gay, what scientific methods are you going to use to determine if a person is lesbian? The only thing you can do is to look at a person and out of hatred decide this one is gay or lesbian and you want to kill them. That cannot be correct,” Malema said.
LittleAfrica News previously reported on the bill’s passing by Uganda’s Parliament. While parliament voted for it, President Yoweri Museveni has yet to sign it. EFF Leader Malema cautioned him not to.
“We are saying to Museveni to leave the people the way they are. It is not our problem or your problem, it is not a problem at all,” he said.
“What if Museveni is lesbian or gay himself? What if Museveni is going to discover that much later? Because there are people that discover that even when they are older that, ‘actually this is what I am.’”
Malema is well known for being blunt when it comes to remarks and he did not spare Museveni, claiming that Uganda’s president would possibly use the laws to suppress and imprison political opponents.
“One day, with this law, Museveni can wake up and say that Bobby Wine is gay. Not because he’s gay, but because he disagrees with him politically. He just says he’s gay, and according to the law, he must be killed. He’s going to use this law to kill his political opponents and he must be stopped, and he must be stopped now,” he claimed.
South Africa will be celebrating Human Rights Day on Thursday, April 27th and Malema said it would be inappropriate to simply celebrate the day while other Africans suffer injustices against their human rights.
“We can’t say we are celebrating human rights in South Africa this month, yet there is another part of Africa which is not celebrating human rights. No one must take away the life of an individual or a community, on the basis of their identity,” he said.
Major General Fred Ociti Tolit of the Uganda High Commission, who is the current Defense Attaché at the Ugandan Embassy in South Africa, was handed a memorandum by the EFF. The political party released a statement condemning the persecution of LGBTQ+ communities, not only in Uganda but across Africa.