Friday, January 22, 2010
Call me names, but Qwelane is not okay...
"They want to appoint that fucknut Jon Qwelane as ambassador to Uganada!" read an SMS from my friend Christel the other morning.
Jon Qwelane is a well-known South African journalist, commentator, future ambassador and all-round homophobe. Capital H. In 2008 he wrote an editorial for the Sunday Sun on the rift that was growing in the Anglican Church over the ordaining of homosexual men and women as bishops. You can download a pdf with the original article here.
In the article he rants on about 'the rapid degradation of values and traditions by the so-called liberal influences' and 'There could be a few things I could take issue with Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, but his unflinching stance over homosexuals is definietely not amongst those.' He oncludes his homophobic rant with 'at this rate, how soon before some idiot demands to "marry" an animal and argues that this constitution "allows" it.'
Now the South African government is considering sending this man to Uganda, who is considering passing a bill that could mean the death penalty for homosexuals in certain instances. WTF? What kind of a message is the president sending into the world? He has been known to make homophobic statements and there has been rumours of some interfaith leagues trying to get on his side in an attempt to put an end to same-sex marriages and abortian amongst other things.
As if the South African government's silence on the Uganda issue is not enough, appointing Jon Qwelane would basically come down to condoning the Uganadan government's plans and also send a clear message to homosexuals in South Africa and the rest of the world- 'We do not like what you are getting up to and the days of toleration are drawing to an end.'
I stated a long time ago that my reasons for leaving South Africa again were not social or political, but I am taking that back. If this is the way we are going then I can now check political as a reason for going. If President Zuma okays this my country is taking a gigantic leap backward and I am not going to stay put for that. I struggled enough with homophobia growing up and I am not going to stay around for the next round. I do sincerely hope this does not happen.
*Update- When asked about the potential appointment of Jon Qwelane as SA ambassador to Uganda the ANC's spokesperson had the following to say "Do you have any scientific evidence that [Qwelane] is a homophobe?" Read the full article at the Mail & Guardian.