Anti-Homosexuality Bill: ANC, DA, ActionSA condemn SA’s silence

A picture of President Cyril Ramaphosa who has yet to speak out against Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill

President Cyril Ramaphosa has yet to speak out against Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill (Photo: Alexandros Michailidis /

  • The EFF says Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill is “a massive step backwards” for Africa
  • The DA slams the SA government and the African Union for not condemning the legislation
  • ActionSA warns the bill will incite violence and harassment against LGBTIQ+ individuals
  • The ANC has yet to comment

While the EFF, the DA and ActionSA have all condemned Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, the ANC and the South African government have remained noticeably silent.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) issued a statement on Friday speaking out against the legislation that threatens to jail and even execute LGBTIQ+ people and their allies in the east African country, describing it as inhumane and rooted in religious fundamentalism.

“The bill passed in Uganda is a massive step backwards for Africa and a gross violation of human rights,” said the EFF.

“The stigma and hatred towards the LGBTQI+ community not only in Africa but across the world, infringes on the rights of individuals to identify as they see fit and express their sexuality without fear of persecution,” contended the party. “It is completely irrational, as it is based on homophobic and baseless rhetoric which collates sexual crimes with queer identity.”

The EFF said the bill will “open doors to numerous human rights violations” and urged Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni to not sign the bill and to instead roll out an education program on sexuality, gender identity and on the rights of people to freely express themselves and associate with whomever they please.

It argued that “the harmful rhetoric and propaganda that is pervasive in Africa against the LGBTQI+ community is baseless and illogical” and that the LGBTQI+ community is unjustly blamed for crimes that are committed by all sexes and genders in society.

In its own statement, the Democratic Alliance (DA) expressed its disappointment at the silence of both the South African government and the African Union in not calling out Uganda for passing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

“It is so often that South Africa is quick to talk about human rights atrocities around the world but when their own continent is pushing us back into the dark ages, they are embarrassingly silent,” said MP Darren Bergman.

He warned that if not condemned by neighbouring countries and the African Union, the bill could “lead to more draconian laws being passed by not just Uganda but other countries that will put Africa on a path to a slippery free fall”.

“President Cyril Ramaphosa owes it not just to South Africa or to the African continent but he owes it to the seat he occupies on the African Union to fight for the rights of every person on this continent to live in a progressive continent that is maturing and allowing the people of Africa a voice and not just the legislators,” said Bergman.

ActionSA also noted “the deafening silence of President Cyril Ramaphosa” on the Ugandan bill, something which it described as “disappointing as it is unsurprising”.

“That a bill of this nature can be passed so far into the 21st century when the global community has made such significant strides in restoring human rights and freedoms is unjustifiable,” commented ActionSA President, Herman Mashaba.

He pointed out that the bill will further entrench discrimination into the fabric of Ugandan society and will incite violence and harassment against individuals based on their sexual orientation.

“The inflammatory utterances made carelessly by the senior leadership of Uganda, if left unchecked, will lead to abuse of power against anyone, not just the LGBTQIA+ community,” Mashaba said.

He expressed hope “that with sufficient support and advocacy from our ‘silent’ leaders, the Ugandan anti-LGBTQI Bill would be reviewed in lieu of its fundamental conflicts with the country’s international human rights obligations”.

In addition to President Ramaphosa and the South African government, the ANC has also not commented on the Ugandan bill. This is in line with the government’s historical silence when it comes to LGBTIQ+ human rights abuses in Africa and among other international allies such as Russia.

It’s worth noting that the legislation was passed by the Ugandan Parliament just days after President Museveni made an official state visit to South Africa, accompanied by much pomp and ceremony.

President Cyril Ramaphosa welcomed Museveni – who recently described LGBTIQ+ people as “deviants” – with open arms and bestowed him with the prestigious Order of South Africa.

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