Archive for the ‘South Africa’ Category

Out In Africa - Our Gorgeous Posters Have Been Trashed

Our gorgeous posters have been trashed
By Out In Africa • Sep 15th, 2009 • Category: Film Festival News •

Article by Jason Warner

A gay and lesbian film festival has been “devastated” after more than 700 posters showing same-sex couples kissing were removed from lamp posts.

An outraged Out in Africa South African Gay and Lesbian Film Festival director Nodi Murphy has lodged a complaint with police.

“Some stupid twits with more time on their hands than brains trashed our gorgeous posters. And for what?”

Out In Africa - Our Gorgeous Posters Have Been Trashed

Launched in 1994 to celebrate the constitution prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, the festival is on at the Nu Metro V&A waterfront until Sunday.

Alerted by a Sea Point resident, Murphy had driven around the city and had “seen empty places where my posters have been”.

She said she suspects the “two-day systematic removal of the 700 posters” had been carried out by fundamentalist religious or right-wing groups.
Murphy said she hoped to see the vandals “in the court of law, with them doing community service at a gay and lesbian project”.

She said the organisers had been advised to lodge a complaint so that they could receive permission to view CCTV footage of where many of the posters had been.

The office of the executive mayor of Cape Town approved and paid R32 000 for the posters, Murphy said: “It’s their money that’s been wasted and I can’t imagine them being too happy. I’ll be in their office tomorrow discussing the matter.”
She believed the festival had helped to promote tolerance.

“I kept thinking that there was an end to my work and that people have come to tolerate gays and lesbians. I don’t know why there has been this upsurge (in homophobia) all of a sudden. I think it’s because we’re an easy target. When there’s fear in the world its easier to go after a minority group.”

Murphy said there had been many messages praising the poster design as well as queries as to where the posters had gone.

“I’m outraged. It’s my right to advertise, we have a constitution and our rights are protected.
This breaking news flash was supplied exclusively to by the news desk at our sister title, The Cape Times.


crEnd “Corrective” Rape of Lesbians in South Africa
Target: South African President Kgalema Motlanthe
Sponsored by: Care2
A new ActionAid report describes the shocking rise of “corrective” rape in South Africa – in which South African lesbians are being raped in an effort to “cure” them of their sexual orientation. Support groups in Cape Town say they see 10 new cases of “corrective” rape every week. And it’s even more widespread around the rest of the country.

Many perpetrators of rape already go unpunished in South Africa, but the situation is even worse for lesbian women. Indeed, 31 lesbian women have been murdered in homophobic attacks since 1998, but in only one of these cases has there been a conviction.

Although South Africa’s constitution recognizes rights of gay and lesbian people, its legal system does not view crimes committed against gay and lesbians on the basis of sexual orientation to be hate crimes. The South African legal system must recognize “corrective” rape as a hate crime in addition to a rape in order to establish a greater punishment for this brutal and widespread act of sexual violence. Urge South African President Kgalema Motlanthe to deem “corrective” rape a hate crime!

Sign the Online petition:

Hate crimes: the rise of “corrective” rape in South Africa:

Lesbian women in South Africa are being raped by men who believe it will “cure” them of their sexual orientation, according to a shocking new report by ActionAid.

Women in townships in Johannesburg and Cape Town are reporting a rising tide of brutal homophobic attacks and murders and the widespread use of “corrective” rape as a form of punishment.

In South Africa, no woman is safe from violence. The country’s war against its women continues unabated, with an estimated 500,000 rapes, hundreds of murders and countless beatings inflicted every year. For every 25 men accused of rape in South Africa, 24 walk free.
Read full article


Lesbians in South Africa subjected to ‘corrective rape’ by Therion

A report from the international NGO ActionAid, says that horrific assaults against lesbians in South Africa are going unrecognized by the state and unpunished by the legal system. ActionAid backed by the South African Human Rights Commission has condemned what it describes as ‘a culture of impunity’.

These crimes received greater attention when Eudy Simelane, a star of South Africa’s national female football squad, was gang-raped and viciously beaten and stabbed. Her body was found in a creek in a park in Kwa Thema, on the outskirts of Johannesburg.

Campaigners say that the attacks are viewed by the perpetrators as “corrective rape”. Research by Triangle, a leading S. African gay rights organization indicates that 86% of black lesbians from Western Cape live in fear of sexual assault. Triangle says it is dealing with up to 10 cases of “corrective rape” every week.

Carrie Shelver of the women’s group Powa, a South African NGO, says that the root of the problem is “… a macho culture that seeks to oppress women and sees them merely as sexual beings. So when there is a lesbian woman she is an absolute affront to this kind of masculinity”.

For more on this story, link to the Guardian here.

Also link to a video here featuring interviews with victims of ‘corrective rape’.

Full article

The following message is from Gregg Gonsalves, the noted AIDS activist now working in South Africa:

Hi, everyone.
Many of you know that violence against foreigners, primarily other Africans, has broken out in South African townships, with killings and mayhem in the Johannesburg area, and less violent, but potent harassment happening in Cape Town. As of this morning more than 50 people have been killed and over 20,000 displaced from their homes.
In Cape Town, probably 10,000 or so people have fled their homes to the safety of police stations, churches, committee centres. The city has opened up 4 refugee camps as well over the weekend.
Though they are not refugee rights or relief organizations, the Treatment Action Campaign and the AIDS Law Project here in Cape Town have been leading the civil society response to the crisis. The office building where TAC, ALP (ARASA and Sonke Gender Justice) share offices has been turned into gigantic relief operation led by TAC and ALP.
Hundreds of people have streamed through the offices volunteering their help, packing up blankets, food, and other essential supplies to bring out to the refugees. In addition, TAC and ALP are providing much of the political leadership in this emergency pushing the city and the province to work together. Tuesday there will be a big anti-xenophobia rally at St Georges Cathedral in Cape Town.
It’s hard doing the work we do – fighting the epidemic when the world seems to want to move on to “bigger” issues, to leave AIDS behind.
What I find truly extraordinary is that even despite our struggles, AIDS activists here in South Africa have stopped what they are doing to help their fellow men and women in this crisis. TAC and ALP staff and volunteers, and those with the other organizations, and the many individuals who have stopped by the offices are special people – they give us all hope that our struggles against AIDS, and for social justice for our communities will some day become a reality…

TAC is spending down quickly and needs donations, please go to to see how you can help.

Gregg Gonsalves
AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa
c/o AIDS Law Project
Westminster House, 4th Floor
122 Longmarket Street
Cape Town, 8001
South Africa
Mobile: +27-78-456-3848
Landline: +27-21-422-1490