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Minister Masutha addresses Africa Regional Seminar on finding practical solutions for sexual orientation based violence

03 March 2016

The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Advocate Michael Masutha has reaffirmed the government’s commitment to protect the rights of Lesbians Gays Bi-sexual Trans-gender and Intersex (LGBTI) communities during his keynote address at the start of a  three-day Africa Regional seminar on Thursday, 03 March 2016 at the Premier Hotel in Kempton Park.

The seminar hosted by the South African Human Rights Commission aims to find practical solutions to address violence and discrimination perpetrated on the bases of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. This is in response to Resolution 275 on the protection against violence and other human rights violations on the basis of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity adopted at African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights 55th Ordinary Session held from 28 April to 12 May 2014.

Minister Masutha said Resolution 275 condemns the increasing incidence of violence and other human rights violations, including murder, rape, assault, arbitrary imprisonment and other forms of persecution of persons on the basis of their imputed or real sexual orientation or gender identity.
“South African Government has demonstrated commitment through the launch of intervention strategy in 2014 which ensured murderers of a lesbian, Duduzile Zozo in the East Rand were sentenced to 30 years imprisonment. This is evidence of aggressive stance adopted by our judiciary, law enforcement and prosecution in dealing with violence against vulnerable groups”. Minister Masutha said.

In taking Resolution 275 forward, Minister Masutha said the South African government, represented by Departments of Justice and Constitutional Development, International Relations and Co-operation, the South African Human Rights Commission is constantly in dialogue with Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL), Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA) and African Men for Sexual Health Rights (AMSHeR), Regional Civil Society Organizations in the country as well as members of South Africa’s National Task Team to build networks and strengthen collaborations and partnership to act as catalysts for positive policy and legislation. 

This three-day seminar will continue tomorrow with Deputy Minister John Jeffery addressing the delegates on the subject of advocacy for legislative and policy reform. Other discussion points that will be discussed include combating violence through education and policy and using the courts and judicial processes to address hate crimes perpetrated based on sexual violence.

Issued by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
Enquiries: Advocate Mthunzi Mhaga
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services