Cape Town’s Triangle Project – the oldest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender service organisation in Africa – has slated the African Christian Democratic Party’s homophobic statement in reaction to a lesbian couple being found guilty of the murder of a young boy earlier this week.

The notoriously anti-gay ACDP used the case as an example with which to assert that same-sex relationships should not be legally recognised, saying that “When we said that allowing so called same-sex marriages would further put children at risk, many rejected our warning”.

Hanlie Botha, 33 and Thea de Nysschen, 34 were both convicted of the murder of Jandre Botha. The boy died of multiple injuries to his head and body after he was assaulted by De Nysschen in 2003.

The Triangle Project has decried any form of abuse of children and has called “on the government, and in particular the judicial system, to ensure that children’s rights are vehemently protected”.

The organisation expressed its dismay at the ACDP’s tactic of “using the tragic murder of four year-old Jandre Botha at the hands of her lesbian step-parent, to assert that same-sex relationships should not be legally recognised in South Africa”.

“The ACDP’s attempt to abuse the murder of an innocent and defenceless child in order to further their attempts to stereotype and feed prejudice against the gay and lesbian community is deplorable”, said Triangle. It added that, “The ACDP’s attempt to opportunistically utilise this very tragic event in order to further its own political ambitions is, at the very least, highly immoral, grossly manipulative and reprehensible”.

It also expressed hope that the ACDP would in future be consistent in commenting on all crimes perpetrated against children, irrespective of the perpetrators’ sexual orientation, such as the brutal beating and stoning to death of nineteen-year old lesbian, Zoliswa Nkonyana, by a mob of heterosexual youths in Cape Town.

The Triangle project said that, “This hate crime came in the wake of the ACDP’s irresponsible call for Cape Town to be “less gay friendly and more God friendly”.

The organisation concluded its media statement by challenging “the ACDP to publicly state what they are doing to address the tragic ongoing reality of domestic violence, child abuse, escalating murders of children on the Cape Flats, incest, teenage pregnancy, HIV and AIDS, infidelity, substance abuse, divorce and family murder in heterosexual families in South Africa”.

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