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South African Hypocrisy Palpable with Silence Complicit in Human Rights Abuses of LGBTQI+ Africans

by Melanie Nathan, April 8, 2024.

If you support the call for South Africa to take stringent action against African Countries which are calling for the genocide of gays, please sign your support at our ALL OUT PETITION.  If SA is capable of tackling Israel in the Hague, think of what it must do for LGBTQI genocide in Africa. It is silent! It is either antisemitic or it cares genuinely about human rights... which is it?

A Public Letter to South Africa: President Cyril Ramaphosa, Minister Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, and Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Home Affairs.


Dear Mr. President and Hon. Ministers,

African Human Rights Coalition asserts that South Africa has intentionally failed to intervene, advocate or take specific measures for LGBTQI communities to its north on the Continent, rendering South Africa complicit in the current call for genocide of Africa’s larger LGBTQI+ community. You have done nothing in decades to aid in altering the abhorrent trajectory toward deathly oppression and genocide, and so your inept response is tantamount to aiding and abetting the current climate of severe human rights abuses.

You took action for the people of Gaza with swift vigor, on the basis of your purported concern for human rights, while silent on the issue of criminalized and persecuted LGBTQI+ people to your north, begs not only the question of your responsibility, but also calls into question your motivation and your belief that LGBTQI+ people have any human rights at all.

In 2023 after Uganda passed the Anti-Homosexuality Act, aka ‘The Kill the Gays Bill,’ resulting in a huge surge in attacks against LGBTI people, you were silent and still are. When President Museveni publicly requested that Africans lead in ridding the world of homosexuality, you were silent and still are. When Uganda hunted and held gay people in unlawful detentions with forced anal exams, considered torture, you were silent and still are. When Ghana passed the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2024, you were silent and still are. When countries have refused to decriminalize and passed enhanced punitive measure and terms in homophobic new laws, you remain silent.

When the late former President Nelson Mandela contemplated South Africa’s new Democratic constitution, he made it clear that South Africa would never again be the “skunk of the world” when considering full equality for all, to include sexual orientation and gender identity. With these words, and your standing in the African Union, and South Africa’s fully equal constitution, comes great moral responsibility. You have turned your back.

YOUR South African government went so far as to launch a case against Israel based on your accusations of human rights abuses and yet you have, for YEARS, from the time of the Qwelane appointment (a convicted homophobe) to Uganda, until now – done absolutely nothing for Africa’s oppressed, colonized, enslaved and brutally criminalized community.

Not only have you failed in this regard, but you have done nothing as a country to welcome the refugees and asylum seekers who are the casualties of the resulting horrors from the north. As the only country that offers full equality to LGBTqI+ people on the continent, you have an international obligation and duty to protect those fleeing these laws. Because of your failure to embrace solutions, South Africa's xenophobia and homophobia, refugees are stuck in hostile host countries which further criminalize them causing more harm and trauma than already experienced in the home countries they are fleeing.

 If anything your government has corruptly and incompetently sabotaged the pursuit of the most basic of refugee and asylum rights in South Africa, with what is tantamount to an almost defunct Home Affairs department, which barely serves its intended purpose.*

As the ED of African Human Rights Coalition, I provide country conditions witness expert testimony in the U.S. and global courts for asylum seekers from 20 countries to your north. Here are some of the harms, happening on your watch, that we testify to under oath, here in the U.S.A.: Violence that includes, beatings, so called “corrective” rape of lesbians, sexual torture of men and women, disappearances, kidnappings, blackmail, discredited and dangerous reparative therapies, application of stoning under Sharia law, blackmail, banishment, firing, evictions, police brutality, forced anal exams, forced marriages, expulsions, and killings.*

The timing is now critical for you to reverse this complicit stance. 

It is time for South Africa to take decisive measures:

-       starting with a widespread announcement of its condemnation of anti-LGBTQI+ legislation;

-       There are assertions that homosexuality is un-African, a ridiculous notion, that South Africa must conscientiously help to dispel;

-       to call upon al African governments to decriminalize human sexuality and gender identity;

-       to engage Ghana, Uganda, Kenya and other African governments specifically to repeal legislation forthwith;

-       to pursue sanctions and legal action against those governments who oppress LGBTQI+ Africans.


There are few pathways to protection and safety. There are no durable solutions to the current wave of persecution that has thousands of LGBTQI+ people fleeing their countries or hiding like Ann Frank, in dark rooms, across the continent, with nowhere to go.


South Africa has a duty to its past and to its future and that compels South Africa to embrace first and foremost the human rights and dignity of all of Africa’s people. For as long as you ignore the plight and deadly oppression of the LGBTQI+ communities to your North, while actively involved in calling out Israel, you are as good as complicit in Africa’s current wave of genocidal human rights abuses. One does not preclude the other, but certainly casts a light that calls into question South Africa’s motives, such as antisemitism versus a genuine concern for all human rights.


If you support the call for South Africa to take similar stringent action against African Countries calling for the genocide of gays, please sign your support.


*African Human Rights Coalition can provide detailed briefings to interested cabinet ministers, parliamentarians, journalists, corporation, NGO’s and other agency officials.

Melanie Nathan

Executive Director African Human Rights Coalition



Melanie Nathan, Executive Director of African Human Rights Coalition is a qualified country of origin expert witness in the United States and global immigration courts, providing expert written country conditions  reports and testimony for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, non-binary, LGBTQI + asylum seekers from African Countries, such as Uganda, Ghana, Angola, Kenya, and more…  HERE

Melanie also consults multinational corporations regarding briefings and policy for operations and issue impacted by anti-homosexuality laws and country conditions. SEE HERE


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