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Contralesa chief is homophobic

The Centre for Human Rights strongly condemns the homophobic statements made by Chief Phathekile Holomisa, the president of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) at the organisation's national congress last week.

Holomisa compared same- sex marriages to sex with relatives and animals.

These disparaging and demeaning slurs run contrary to the letter and spirit of the constitution and the Equality Act.

The South Africa constitution recognises and protects homosexuals. The judiciary in a long line of cases has uprooted discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Holomisa's statements amount to hate speech, which is prohibited by the Equality Act. Contralesa is a constitutional body and has a duty to protect and promote the values of the constitution.

We urge the South African Human Rights Commission to investigate this matter and take the appropriate measures.

In addition, we recommend that Holomisa retracts his statement and issues a public apology.

Tshepo Madlingozi

Centre for Human Rights, Pretoria

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