Jacob Zuma Doubles Down on Election Homophobia


Former President Jacob Zuma (Photo: uMkhonto weSizwe / Facebook)

South Africa’s embittered former President, Jacob Zuma, has again targeted the LGBTIQ+ community in another campaign speech, describing same-sex relationships as a disgrace.

Times Live reported that Zuma made the homophobic comments while addressing supporters of his uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party in Maqongqo, outside Pietermaritzburg, on Sunday.

In his speech, the disgraced politician railed against Parliament for passing “laws that people never agreed to,” asserting that South Africans should follow “African law” and not “Dutch law.”

Implying that same-sex relationships are unAfrican, Zuma asked: “Where does the law that a man can be in a romantic relationship with another man come from? What will women be left with?” He added, “It’s a disgrace.”

Zuma continued: “I don’t know what democracy means. What does democracy mean? Is this your will that they did? Did they ask you?”

The former president already came under fire in January for lashing out at same-sex relationships in a campaign rally in Pietermaritzburg, stating that if MK came to power, it would reverse the law that legalised same-sex marriage in South Africa.

In response, OUT LGBT Well-being called on political parties participating in the upcoming elections, including MK, to refrain from exploiting and targeting vulnerable minorities, such as the LGBTIQ+ community, for cheap political gain.

Zuma expressed his opposition to marriage equality as far back as 2006, labelling same-sex marriage as “a disgrace to the nation and to God.”

He also infamously stated: “When I was growing up, unqingili [a ‘homosexual’] could not stand in front of me. I would have knocked him out.”

While Zuma later claimed his comments were misinterpreted and apologised, it’s clear that this apology was insincere.

Zuma, who continues to face corruption charges, resigned as president in 2018 rather than face a motion of no confidence in Parliament.

In 2021, he was briefly jailed for contempt of court by the Constitutional Court for refusing to comply with an order to appear before the Zondo Commission investigating fraud, corruption, and state capture.

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