Congratulations to FEW!!!
On Saturday, 26th of October 2013, the 3rd LGTBI Recognition awards were hosted at the State Theatre in Pretoria. The Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW) received an award for the “2013 Best LGBTI organisation” category. The award was collected by one of our members Fino Charmaine Dlamini who gave words of thanks on behalf of the organisation.
FEW greatly appreciates the acknowledgement and recognition of the hard work that we have done and continue doing in making sure that Queer rights are of recognition and are respected as enshrined in our South African Constitution. We would like to commit ourselves once more that we will continue dedicating ourselves and ensure that our services expand in making sure that we live in an unprejudiced society that allows people to be who they are and be what they want to be without discrimination and oppression.
This award is dedicated to all the comrades who are deceased; survivors of GBV/ hate crimes/homophobia and other forms of abuse and violations that are faced by the LGBTI community due to sexual orientation.
Update On the Rape and Murder Case of the late Duduzile Zozo's
update on Murder case of Duduzile Zozo a young lesbian women who was brutally murdered in June this year near her house in Tokoza. About 30 people including family, friends, community member, and activist were gathered in and outside Palm Ridge Court to support the family of Zoso.
The suspect Lesley Legowa Motleleng, 22 years old was arrested last week Friday in Tokoza a street away from the deceased house and today was his first appearance and when ask if he wants to appeal for bail and he said no, the case was reminded to 10 December 2013 the last day of 16 days against Gender based Violence and its International Human rights day so this means we all are coming to support and raise our voices to put pressure for tough sentencing.
RECLAIMING OUR SPACE WITH PRIDE – 9th Annual SOWETO PRIDE MARCH
SOWETO Pride is a political project that was initiated by the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW) in 2004 with the aim of creating a political and social space for Queer persons to celebrate their sexuality and humanity. The Soweto Pride event has since been hosted annually and has grown in numbers of people attending over the years.
The 9th Annual Soweto Pride march was held on Saturday 28th September 2013 in the heart of the historic township White City Jabavu, Soweto. During the Soweto Pride March, activists sang liberation songs such as, “This is what democracy looks like”, “Whose streets? Our streets”! As FEW organised this year’s pride event, hundreds of people from the queer communities turned out to support and participate in the march all in agreement with this year’s theme of “Reclaiming Our Space with Pride”, despite all the challenges that the event organisers had encountered in preparing for the big day.
The aim of the Soweto Pride march was to reclaim the streets for LGBTI people and demand justice for victims and survivors of hate crimes. The day was filled with loads of entertainment and fun that followed at the Credo Mutwa Park where there were various entertainers who kept the crowds busy including stalls from civil society organisations and local businesses displaying their work.
This was one of the biggest Soweto Pride events ever as there was a huge turnout of people who participated in the actual Pride March compared to the participants that we’ve seen in the previous years. Soweto Pride continues to grow both politically and creating a safe space for all Queer people including heterosexuals.
The marketing of the event turned to be a great success and it was evident through the massive media coverage by radio stations, newspapers, community media representatives that were well represented on the day.
All of this happened with very limited funding to support this great initiative. We would like to edge everyone who supports the Soweto Pride to please donate to the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW) so that we can have it in a bigger and better space with adequate resources for an improved marketing.
We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to everyone who supported the March, as the FEW team and Volunteers, we greatly appreciate you continuous support.
67 minutes of shame revisited
Today the world celebrates former President Nelson Mandela's birthday. From 2009 South Africa started the 67 minutes campaign where every single person on 18 July of every year takes 67 minutes out of their life to lend a helping hand to someone in need. It has become a tradition all over the world.
On 18 July 2012, after the hate fuelled murders of Sanna Supa, Andritha Thapelo Morifi, Thapelo Makhutle, Phumeza Nkolonzi and Sasha Lee Gordon the LGBTIQA community took to the streets marking the 67 minutes as 67 minutes of shame against gender based violence as well as hate crimes against the LGBTIQA community. They marched to the African National Congress ("ANC") Luthuli House in Johannesburg central. The LGBTIQA community demanded that the government take action against hate crimes. Gender based violence specifically against gender non-conforming persons has been on the rise in South Africa and the LGBITQA community demanded justice for those who have lost their lives because of hate crimes.
Despite threats of arrest as well as general animosity, the LGBTIQA continued to march against gender based violence. We delivered a memorandum tabling our demands to an ANC representative. This memorandum was rooted in the fact that many young men and women have lost their lives because of their sexual orientation in South Africa in so many brutal ways however very little has been done to stop this atrocity. There is no campaign nor protest save the LGBTIQA community that is raising awareness against gender based violence and hate crimes.
A year later the LGBTIQA community takes a look back at the 67 minutes of shame. There has been no formal response on the memorandum. There has been no real action taken against hate crimes. Following the Death of Duduzile Zozo Radebe recently, the fight against hate crimes clearly continues. Today we look back at all our sisters and brothers who have lost their lives in the struggle against hate crimes. The LGBTIQA community continues to seek justice for the affected and continues to raise awareness against hate crimes. What will you do with your 67 minutes?
#We will not be silenced.
HEALTHY QUEER & RADICAL FUN ON YOUTH DAY ( June 16, 2013).
It is with great regret that we have had to cancel the Chosen FEW Fun Run/Walk. This is mainly attributed the fact that JMPD and Other Service providers requested large amounts of money for their involvement in the Fun Run/Walk. We were unable to meet the demands set by these above mentioned services providers as this is already a fundraising event and we cannot afford to pay exorbitant amounts for municipal services. Unfortunately the Fun Run/Walk cannot continue without the involvement of JMPD and various other service providers and we have no alternative but to cancel same. Please note that this request for payment is a new requirement that has recently been brought to our attention.
We have since decided to host a 6 aside fun soccer tournament and other fun games/activities in place of the fun run/walk.
We would like to invite individuals, organisations, teams to participate in our fundraising soccer tournament and other fun activities on the 16th June 2013.
You are well come to bring along your kids for a day filled with fun there will be kids village. To participate, the team requires a Registration fee of R400.00 for 10 people and R50.00 individuals. There are prizes to be won for losers and winners.
PLEASE BRING YOUR PICNIC BASKET AS WELL!!!
Date: 16 June 2013 youth day
Venue: Peter Roos Park, Park town JHB opposite Johannesburg College of Education
Time: 8 for 9am- 3pm
Your continued support would be appreciated
Account Name: Forum for the Empowerment of Women
Account number: 406 053 8374
Branch code: 6320025
Branch Name: Eastgate
Swift code: ABSAZAJJ
Reference: Chosen FEW
For more info/ support please contact the following:
Deekay Sibanda 011 403 1906 email
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Committee to Organise People’s Pride Johannesburg on 5 Oct. 2013
Johannesburg, 20 May 2013
A meeting on 18 May of the recently formed organising committee of about 30 individuals decided on a broad programme of action for the annual lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, asexual, and queer (LGBTIAQ) Pride in Johannesburg.
Johannesburg Pride 2013 will consist of public art installations, performances, exhibitions, direct action, workshops, and debates over the months leading up to a march on October 5.
The organising committee emerges from two public meetings hosted by the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW) and the One in Nine Campaign during April and May 2013, attended by a broad range of activists and other members of the Johannesburg queer publics.
The meetings discussed issues concerning the manner in which Pride has been organised in Johannesburg in the recent past. They identified the ways in which previous Pride events have reinforced racial, class, gender, and other social hierarchies - overlooking the problems confronting a vast majority of LGBTIAQ individuals and communities in and around Johannesburg and in South Africa as a whole and ignoring their daily struggles for adequate housing, safety, education, and access to public services such as transportation and health.
In a society still largely stratified along racial lines, this failure translated into Pride events that catered, often explicitly, to affluent, mostly white individuals. This deliberate de-politicisation of Pride and emphasis on festivities for the affluent is a slap in the face of individuals from economically marginalised communities, particluarly black lesbians and gender non-conforming people, whose lives are characterised by high levels of structural and interpersonal violence. In privileging corporate sponsorships and promoting the market value of such events, Pride ceased to be an inclusive space that was safe and accessible to all members of LGBTIAQ communities.
The meetings also generated a “Pride manifesto” that lays outs the principles and vision for a “People’s Pride,” including anti-racism, anti-capitalism, anti-sexism, anti-ableism, and the positioning of LGBTIAQ struggles within broader socio-political and economic contexts and struggles in South Africa, and globally. The People’s Pride is envisioned as an inclusive and explicitly political movement for social justice.
The organising committee, which is mandated to organise Pride in line with the vision of the manifesto, is in the process of creating a People’s Pride calendar; the events and actions will serve to:
•Build solidarity with other politically oriented Prides in the greater Johannesburg region and beyond, such as Soweto Pride and Ekurhuleni Pride;
•Educate and conscientise communities about the struggles that shape a range of experiences of being queer in South Africa;
•Honour the contributions and resilience of queer Africans;
•Celebrate the hard-won legislative freedoms we have today, recognising that none of us are free until all of us are substantively free; and
•Articulate demands for furthering social justice for all.
The organising committee meetings are open to all and hosted by Constitution Hill. In addition, mass meetings will be held regularly to ensure transparency and accountability.
For further information:
Kwezilomso Mbandazayo: 082-817 0097
Sekoetlane Phamodi: 076-084 8077
Reclaim Pride Facebook page
Next organising committee meeting: 26 May 2013, Constitution Hill, 13h00-17h00
Next mass meeting: 01 June 2013, Constitution Hill, 11h00-15h30
News to be Celebrated!!!
CHOSEN FEW LESBIAN SOCCER TEAM HAS BEEN AWARDED A SCHOLARSHIP TO PARTICIPATE IN THE WORLD OUTGAMES BELGIUM ANTWREP 2013
The CHOSEN FEW Soccer team is one of the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW)’s project that is doing activism through sport. It comprised of 25 young black lesbian women who are activists for LGBTI rights, women’s rights with more focus on lesbian women rights in South Africa. The purpose of Chosen FEW is to strengthen sports activism amongst young black lesbian women so that we are able to defend and advance the rights of women, particularly lesbian women. We partner with other African countries to use sports as a tool to influence change on the inequalities and discrimination faced by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people.
14 players of Chosen FEW soccer team have been selected for a grant to participate in the Worldoutgames outreach programme. The tournament is a quadrennial global event, hosted by a selected city, for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning and Intersex (LGBTQI) community and open minded friends based upon three equal pillars: Sport, Culture and Human rights. These activities show case LGBTIQ talent of this community from all over the world, the event will take place from 31 July - 11 August 2013.
The awarded grant is for individual players and limited to the following:
• A free worldOutgames Experience with a value of 129 euro
• A free registration for your sport with a value of 45 euro.
• A free hosted housing pack for the entire worldOutgames with a value of 30 euro*
• A financial reimbursement of 200 euro in cash for travel costs.**
Chosen FEW playersand FEW members were extremely excited about these amazing news and are looking forward to the Worldoutgames 2013. However, for the players to be able to participate in this historic opportunity, the team is in need of financial support with getting the following so that they are able to have a successful experience/trip :
• Flight tickets
• Proper training material/
• Soccer equipment’s
Captain of the team Skaps Pinky Zulu said “We would like to request for donations/support to every LGBTI community, families, friends/supporter, department of sport, art and culture and other relevant sport departments on items mentioned above and others that are sport related. Zulu continued and mentioned that, we are going to Worldoutgames to represent our country and as young lesbian Citizens of South Africa we feel that its time our Sport departments to become inclusive by taking part in LGBTI activities and recognize that we have talents. Again thanks to Worldoutgame, Gay games etc for making such social spaces and political spaces for LGBTI community to be free and show their passion/talent”
Thokozile Winny Maila player from CROESUS Ladies said “gay sports day is a way of getting people together to advocate for our (LGBTI) rights, it gives us an opportunity to unite and show the nation that we are just like them regardless of our sexual orientation and that our journey to fight for our rights will never stop until our gay brothers and sisters are treated equally under the law. If more of the LGBTI sports days are done yearly, we will get a bigger recognition and surely change the thinking of many that still don't understand us and are still against us”
Chosen FEW has been participating in the international LGBTIQ tournaments such as Chicago Gay Games in 2006 and received 3rd position bronze medal; London football Championships in 2008 got 4th position and in 2010 in Cologne Germany and were in 3rd position again. We hoping this year we will get gold medals through everyone’s support who will participate in our fundraising events that we are planning for the Worldoutgames in July and beyond to sustain the team for activism work.
The following activities are the guard on how we will be fundraising:
• Fun run/ Walk event on 16 June 2013 in Johannesburg CBD more info will follow with full details
• Tournament 6 aside - fun tournament: venue and date to be confirmed
• A Donation link will be sent with more details
• 17 May 2013 IDAHOT (International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia) at Iranti.org, 123 House of Movement cnr prichards & mooi str lookout for Chosen FEW stall. You can adopt a player or donated anything , please refer to the list above
• Donation forms will be circulated by Chosen FEW players
• Social get together with our supporters on 27 July 2013
FEW BANKING DETAILS
Account Name: Forum for the Empowerment of Women
Account number: 406 053 8374
Branch code: 630025
Branch Name: Eastgate
Swift code: ABSAZAJJ
Reference: Chosen FEW
If you want to support, participate or help out in any of the activities or want to know more about the team please contact: Dikeledi Sibanda @ 011 403 1906/076 5123 974 email
Yours support will be greatly appreciated
By Dikeledi Deekay Sibanda
Freedom of religion gone too far?
The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act 108 of 1996, grants every South African citizen the right to freedom of religion. Chapter 2 of the Bill of Rights, specifically section 15 states the following:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion.”
This section seems to have devastating effects for the LGBTIQA community. In many instances it has been used as a weapon to discriminate against individuals in same sex relationships.
Most recently, a Mpumalanga couple Samantha aged 27 and Kelly Mabe 26 who are legally married in terms of South African law have felt the wrath of this particular section. Their son who is enrolled at Secunda Highveld Christian School is facing expulsion due to his parents’ sexual orientation.
The couple have come forward and told their story to The Star. They stated that about a month ago they were called to the school following a statement made by their son to a teacher stating that he had two mothers. The couple were advised at the meeting that their homosexuality is problematic and were accused of falsifying information on the school application forms. The couple deny this allegation and further clarified that Samantha had completed the section detailed “Father/Guardian” and had clearly stated that she is a “Mrs”.
The couple were then invited to a second meeting at the school regarding this issue and this time a Pastor was present. The Pastor unequivocally stated that had the school known about their homosexuality, they would have never allowed the son to attend Secunda Highveld Christian School. Their son now faces expulsion solely based on the fact that his parents are in a same sex relationship. Mpumalanga’s Education spokesman Jasper Zwane stated that the school is an independent entity but they will investigate the matter.
This situation is not new in the LGBTIQA community. Freedom of religion has been used to discriminate and even harm members of the LGBTIQA community. In a recent publication in the newspaper Daily Sun, on 10 April 2013, the Zulu Royal house expressed shock over the traditional wedding of gay couple Thobejobe Sithole and Tshepo Modisane. They made statements such as “Homosexuality is unholy, the Zulu Kingdom cannot go against the country’s Constitution but we do not condone this thing of gays.” and “I’m sure even in Gods’ eyes homosexuality is unholy.”
King Zwelithini himself has been quoted in the past stating that “Traditionally there are no people who engage in same sex relationships. There was nothing like that and if you do it you must know that you are rotten.”
The matters were referred to the South African Human Rights Commission and the LGBTIQA community still awaits a response.
It seems as though freedom of expression operates independently from other provisions of the South African Constitution. Many political leaders have used their religious beliefs to justify discrimination against this particular minority. The LGBTIQA community has on numerous occasions requested the South African government to act against homophobia based on religious beliefs. This begs the question that are some rights more important than others in our Constitution? Every citizen has the right to freedom of religion and freedom of speech provided that their rights do not infringe other individuals’ rights. However this does not seem the case for the LGBTIQA community.
The government has been silent as discrimination against this minority is on the rise. Hate crimes grip the LGBTIQA community and the government remains silent hiding behind freedom of speech and freedom of religion. The ANC Women’s League has not come forward as women in this country get killed every single day because of their sexual orientation. Their silence is deafening. No one in our government has taken a stand against this daily discrimination against the LGBTIQA community. Even though on paper South Africa is deemed a Constitutional State, their actions point towards a Christian State.
How long will Christianity be used as a weapon against those who do not share the same belief? How long will the LGBTIQA community suffer in the hands of religion? Our Constitution protects the LGBTIQA community but our justice system is failing us. Who will speak up for these victims?
By Mandi Mbatha (FEW)
ARE WE REALLY FREE?
South Africa is getting ready to celebrate 19 years of freedom on the 27th of April 2013. Amidst the celebrations, corrective rape and hate crime against the LGBTIQA community is on the increase.
On 24 April 2013, EPOC and Amnesty South Africa held a commemoration service for one of the victims of hate crimes in KwaThema, Johannesburg. In the early hours of the morning of 24 April 2011, Noxolo Nogwaza (“Noxolo”) was gang raped, stoned to a point where her face was disfigured and subsequently stabbed to death for being a lesbian. Noxolo was a revered LGBTIQA activist, a daughter, a mother of two young children and a friend to many.
Two years after death, no arrests have been made. No one in the community has come forward with concrete evidence because they fear for their lives. EPOC has been following the case and demanding justice to no avail.
The commemoration was attended by Noxolos’ mother, various LBGTIQA organisations, community members as well as Eudy Simelanis’ (“Eudi”) mother. Eudy was also a victim of hate crime in South Africa. The service was held where Noxolos’ body was found. Friends, activists and community members offered words of encouragement to Noxolos’ mother and celebrated her life and work. Messages were received from various social networks from people all around the whole demanding justice for Noxolos’ brutal murder.
The councillor of KwaThema was invited to offer some insight as to the developments regarding the murder case however he did not attend. After some inquiries on the day, he sent a representative who offered very little information as to where the case stands. The SAPS was not in attendance.
This epidemic is sweeping through the LGBTIQA community and the government has done very little to curb this new evil that is claiming the lives of many. Many victims of hate crimes were mentioned at the commemorations who still await justice and the members of the LGBTIQA community found themselves protesting both out of anger and frustration as well as sadness for the inaction experienced.
The service was both a demand for justice and a celebration of Noxolos’ and other victims’ lives. South Africa has no concrete legislation criminalising hate crimes and this has had the effect that very little justice has been done for many victims who have lost their lives through hate crimes. The LGBTIQA organisations and members vehemently expressed their dedication to seeing justice for all victims of hate crimes. They sang songs that expressed their grief, one of which states that “Noxolo is not resting but is on her knees until justice is served.”
The South African government is still yet to launch a campaign raising awareness against hate crimes; they have yet to draft legislation that will protect this minority against these brutal crimes.
By Mandi Mbatha (FEW Volunteer)
On the 24th April 2011 this day, Noxolo Nogwaza, a 24 year old Lesbian woman, was brutally raped and murdered after a social gathering, not far from her home, in the early hours of the morning. Noxolo was a dedicated EPOC activist, a mother of two young children and an avid soccer fan and player. To this date, her perpetrators have not yet been apprehended, no suspects have been arrested and her family cannot rest until justice is served.
You are hereby invited to our annual Day of Commemoration in honour of LGBTI people who were murdered on the basis of their sexual orientation, in and around Ekurhuleni, as follows:
Date: Wednesday,24 April 2013
Time: 14:00 until 18:00.
Venue: Black Road, next to Ekhaya Center (PicknPay), Kwa-Thema. A short distance from where Noxolo's body was found.
This commemoration, will also honour the lives of Eudy Simelane (former player of Banyana Banyana, Girlie Nkosi, Xolani Dlomo and many others who were killed in similar circumstances.
We will hold a short memorial service, erect a temporary structure (stone) on which messages of hope/condolence will be painted for our fallen comrades and their families by all in participation, balloons with solidarity messages from around the world will also be blown up.
Your attendance and support will be greatly appreciated.
For more information you can contact Bontle Khalo @073 226 3287 or
BOYCOTT Gay Parade RECLAIM Our Pride
Dear comrades and friends,
The One in Nine Campaign and Forum for the Empowerment of Women invite you to participate in a conversation on LGBT movements and social justice. We want to use Joburg Pride 2012 as the entry point for this conversation.
On 6 October 2012, about 20 black lesbian, bisexual and gender non-conforming activists disrupted Joburg Pride and staged a “die-in” in the path of the parade. The activists carried life-sized “bodies” representing members of marginalised groups and held two banners that read “Dying for Justice” and “No Cause for Celebration.”
The aim was to stop the parade and demand one minute of silence in memory of people who have been killed because of their sexual orientation and/or gender expression, the majority of whom are black, poor, and live in townships.
The activists also wanted to draw attention to the highly commercial and anti-poor agenda of Joburg Pride. From being an event that celebrated political struggle and claimed space for all members of LGBT communities, Joburg Pride has become a capitalist and consumerist gay parade that takes place in a predominantly white and wealthy suburb, is sponsored by multinational corporations and businesses, and is an event that only the economically wealthy sections of LGBT and queer communities are able to fully participate in.
We recognise that Joburg Pride is, in many ways, a mirror of our society. We live in a country with increasing levels of state violence against the most vulnerable sections of society, an increasing clamp-down on political protest and dissidence, and a patriarchal and capitalist governance system in which perpetrators of all forms of violent crimes and corruption go unpunished as a matter of course. The de-politicisation of LGBT pride and the violent reaction to the activists is just one moment in a larger and deeper problem.
We invite you to a meeting to discuss these and related issues. Our call is to all progressive people and organisations. We ask comrades to come in their numbers and participate in the discussion so that we can craft a plan for addressing the issues. We hope that this meeting will contribute to feminist movement building and be a space where we can share thinking, knowledge and action towards a just and free society.
Date: April/13/ 2013 Time: 11:00 a.m. - 14:00pm
Venue:TBC but JHB Cbd
For any questions and to RSVP,please do not hesitate to contact Kwezilomso Mbandazayo on 0828170097 and
REPORT ON NOKUTHULA RADEBE’S COMMEMORATION
Thank you to everyone who showed support in solidarity with the Radebe family in remembrance of their daughter Nokuthula Radebe, their lost is our lost as the LGBTI community.
On the 28th March 2013, was the day that Nokuthula’s body was found in an abandoned building in Everest Tokoza, Ekurhuleni two years ago on the 28 March 2011 with her pants down and her face covered with a plastic and had been strangled with her shoelaces on the neck, again another brutal killing of a young lesbian woman.
Till this day it is not known who the perpetrators are that killed Nokuthula, up to this date we are told that the case is still under investigation. We feel that the investigating officer (I.O) has not prioritized this case even when information has been given to him to follow up on, from friends of Nokuthula. FEW continues to monitor this case and put pressure on the I.O for proper investigation.
Yesterday (27 March 2013), IHAWU with the support of FEW hosted a commemoration for Nokuthula Radebe at the building where her body was found.
The commemoration was attended by +-35 community members including lesbian women. Speakers were Mr Radebe (Nokuthula’s father) who was the main speaker; Pastor Mbatha (a local pastor); Bhekinkosi Tshabalala (Street Committee); Ayanda Magoloza (IHAWU spoke person); a rep from FEW; Spomza Dlomo (friend to Nokuthula) and Jabu Radebe (another friend )
Pastor Mbatha, from the same area as the Radebe family opened and blessed the ceremony.
Mr Radebe spoke about his anger, frustration and disappointment with the police on his daughter’s murder, how the justice system has failed him as a parent who is still mourning losing his child that he loved. Street committee member, Bhekinkosi Tshabalala mentioned current issues that are happening on women’s bodies and that no one has control over what is happening in South Africa. He also spoke about Lee’s (Nokuthula) case and added that “they are doing their best to get the perpetrators and would like to work with us on this case”. Two of Nokuthula’s friends Spomza Dlomo and Jabulile Radebe expressed their pain and anger at how their friend died and nothing has happened since to this date, Spomza feels that this was a hate crime because of the way she was killed and that these issues should be addressed with the whole community. A moment of silence was held with candle lights
Different activities took place such as poster making, message writing and singing at the same time. The entire ceremony was very emotional and intense. Activists sang liberation songs and gave messages of Support to the family and friends.
Thuli Ncube said “we plead all human rights organisations, activists, friends, human rights defenders, our government and our families to stand up and speak out against all forms of violence especially homophobic violence.
Let’s all Support and put lgbti rights on our agendas because LGBTI rights are human rights and therefore we cannot separate the 2 struggles”
LETS ALL RAISE OUR VOICES TO END HATE.
The Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW) seek to appoint a Project Manager, based in Johannesburg.
The person will manage a new multi-year donor funded project. The project aims to create, support and sustain networks of lesbian women in urban areas around Johannesburg.
Develop project plans and budgets for overall project implementation;
Oversee the implementation of all project objectives in a timely and efficient manner;
Manage all financial aspects of project implementation;
Facilitate project lobbying and advocacy processes in conjunction with partners and other FEW staff;
Network with all stakeholders relevant to the successful functioning of the project;
Execute all reporting and accountability (narrative and financial) to donors, partners and key stakeholders.
Graduate qualification in the social sciences or a related discipline, or commensurate work experience;
Project management qualification will be an advantage;
Minimum of five years relevant work experience in Women’s health, HIV&AIDs, Gender based violence and/or LGBTI issues;
Excellent computer skills;
Proven writing skills (reports and articles);
Some experience of financial management and reporting;
Valid South African driver’s licence;
Ability to communicate in more than two of the official South African languages.
Salary: A negotiable salary dependant on qualifications and experience will be offered.
To apply, submit a CV, motivation letter and contact details of three referees to
Please quote the source of this advertisement in your application - NGO Pulse Portal.
Enquiries: Tel: 011 403 1907.
SOUTH AFRICA WOMEN & MAN IN SPORTS: INEQUALITY VS UNEQUALITY
17 January 2013
Come to think of this, on the 19 Jan 2013 South Africa is hosting the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament, almost everyone knows about this tournament, it is visible in different mediums as well. Personally as a sports woman I have issues about inequality of women’s sports in South Africa particular women’s soccer.
The South African Football Association (SAFA), Government and other relevant departments do not take women’s soccer serious, proven by the fact that they don’t have Professional league, women are grossly under paid compared to their male counterparts, they are discriminated against for different reasons one of which is sexual orientation.
Even when they have tournaments and friendly games they do not receive the same kind of marketing that men’s tournaments receive. Regardless all of that, women still take part in sport.
They ignore the disrespect, and the discrimination they face on a daily basis,If women were given a chance to play regularly and were paid well they would do better in international tournament they participate in.
Patriarchy is a huge problem in South Africa; hence, we have not done much to promote women’s sport.
For the past 4 years FEW has hosted a women’s tournament called Peg Grey in and around Johannesburg , it is an event that happens around women’s month with 4 sporting codes: soccer, volleyball, netball and basketball, it was started to support and advocate for women in sport to acknowledge, celebrate, motivate and take women’s sport further than local.
We would like to call on sponsors/funders/donors to support us so we can reach all provinces and to make it a national event.
SAFA has promised to develop Women Professional Soccer League, but other than words not much has happened. Women play in small leagues with not enough resources , women struggle to make it to trainings and games, with no proper equipment’s it is a shame really.
I think it’s time we do it for ourselves, open opportunities for women in Sport.
Ideas are more than welcome, this is a violation of human/women’s right ( Personal is Political)
Verdict on the Carlton Centre attack
Today was the judgement on Boniswa Mtshali’s case (known as the Carlton Centre Case). Accused was found guilty of physical assault and that it was informed by his prejudice on the basis of sexual orientation of the two women.
Bonisiwe Mtshali, was beaten unconscious after kissing her girlfriend goodbye on June 13, at the Carlton Centre in Johannesburg, by three security guards from Hlanganani Protection Services, they assaulted her and shouted hate speech as well.
However only one Security guard was found guilty and was given a R4000 fine or four months in Prison, the other two were not mentioned in the case due to that the statement from the police didn’t mentioned them as accused in spite of Boniswa indicating their involvement in her attack.
Boniswa the Complainant said “she is not happy about the verdict but at least something has been done unlike nothing at all” As FEW we are not satisfied about the verdict, however this is one of the first cases in many that we deal with of homophobic attacks that has got to a stage of sentencing.
We still say struggle must continue.
FEW has secured services of an in house professional clinical psychologist who will be seeing people for counselling/ therapy sessions at FEW. These services will be provided at no costs, however you would have to transport yourself to the offices of FEW in Braamfontein.
We are starting this Friday (9th November 2012), the psychologist will be available every Friday from 2pm – 4pm, only to members of the LGBTI community. People will be seen per appointment on the day, this will be done through the office of FEW, address and contacts provided above, you can also inbox us on our face book page:few empowerment.
If you would like to secure an appointment, please contact FEW offices to provide us with your details.
For any further information on this announcement, please contact the office on 011 403 1906/7 or send us an email on
above email address/ send inbox on our face book page: Few empowerment.
From FEW team
DIRECTIONS FOR SOWETO PRIDE
FROM M1 NORTH ( PRETORIA/ BRAAMFONTEIN ETC)
1.Take N1 to the South(Follow SOWETO/Bloemfontein/ Kimberley;) as if going to Bara/Chris Hani hospital)
2.Off-ramp on Soweto/ Chris Hani Road;
3.At robots turn right into Chris Hani Road;
4.Proceed straight/ pass hospital & UJ university;
5.After shell garage keep right-& turn right at Nike stadium;
6.Go straight on that rd, pass mall on left, pass hostel on right;
7.Proceed strait going over circle, pass petrol station on right-proceed on that road till shell garage(Ellias Motshoaledi Rd)turn right at those robots;
8.Go straight on Ellias Motsoaledi till Engen garage
9.Turn left @ Engen into Mphuthi Str. & go strait up,Credo Muthwa Park/ Village will be on your right(fenced park) look out for visible signages for SOWETO Pride)
IF NOT CLEAR, CALL: PHINDI 073 240 6049/DEEKAY 076 512 3874
Press release for immediate release
QUEER SOWETO PRIDE MARCH 2012!
Theme for 2012 is: “ENFORCING OUR EXISTENCE: GIVE HOMOPHOBIA THE RED CARD”
25 September 2012
Join us on the eighth annual SOWETO Pride March on 29 September 2012!
Hundreds of activists will descend on the streets of Soweto, White City Jabavu for the Gay and Lesbian Soweto Pride March - a local protest march organised by Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW). This day provides South African LGBTI people especially those living in the townships an opportunity to voice their frustrations against homophobia and discrimination experienced by this community and other minority groups, this is a day we take back our streets of SOWETO as gays and lesbians who are proudly black South Africans.
The march will be attended by hundreds of LGBTI people, our family members, friends, allies and activists from all over the country, (SOWETO, other townships, suburbs in Gauteng Province and people from other provinces). The marchers will gather at Credo Muthwa park where the march will start at 10 am and end back there at 12pm, and a political/ cultural programme will be conducted until 6pm.
“The theme for this year was decided because of the context of violence in which we as minority groups of LGBTI in South Africa, our human rights continue to be violated. This year within two months, 10 LGBT people were brutally murdered in our country.
As gender based inequities plague our nation, the LGBTI communities continue to witness an unanswered anomaly of no justice for crimes against LGBTI people, we are past the stance of asking for our human rights, we march to DEMAND that these murders, rapes and abuse against women and children must end!
We call on all people who support HUMAN RIGHTS FOR ALL to join us in this march to voice our anger against this spreading violence and discrimination, to say enough is enough! we demand a safe country for all!
Marchers will start gathering at Credo Muthwa park from 8:30 for the procession of the march
For more information contact: Phindi Malaza on 011 403 1906/7/ 073 240 6049 or
Press release for immediate release; Monday 17 September 2012
“Towards a new consciousness of an inclusive society”
Make the constitution real for all: End hate crimes against LGBTi people.
Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA), Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW), and the Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL) are organising a national conference the first of its kind in South Africa to discuss a way forward on the crisis facing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-gender and Intersex (LGBTi) people in the country. Between May and August 2012, at least 8 cases of murders of members of LGBTi people in South Africa have been documented.
There are many more cases of daily harassment, rape and other forms of sexual violence, discrimination which render the promises of equality and enjoyment of the right to bodily integrity and security of the person as contained in the country’s constitution meaningless.
This targeting of LGBTi people has intensified in a context of expressions of homophobia in statements made by powerful figures in South African society, fuelling deep-seated prejudice.
The 1st national conference is taking place on 18-19 September 2012 and will be preceded by the Feminist Caucus on 17 September at 14:00 at the Orion Hotel, 49 Jorrisen Street, 1st Floor, Braamfontein - Johannesburg South Africa.
For more details contact Sipho Mthati CAL 071 635 8668, Zoleka Luswazi FEW 078 687 6713 and Corlett Letlojane HURISA 082 574 777 3
Celebrating Women in Sport
Activism through sport was the order of the day; The Peg Grey Women’s Tournament was an initiative to celebrate women in sport. The play-offs were held at the Molestane Sports Complex in Soweto, August 25.
The celebratory event was to honour women’s month through different sporting games, namely soccer, basket ball and net ball. The tournament was a brain child of The Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW).
According to FEW this annual event is particularly to advance and defend the rights of all women and to raise consciousness on violations against women particularly hate crimes against lesbian women in South African townships and for the remembrance of Peg Grey who was a lesbian sport activist.
The buzz that filled the soccer field and different sporting courts was that of excitement and energy.
The aura that packed the courts was that of confidence and extreme unity, the players were jubilant and fit, all matched up in their sporting attires. They played with such pride and their all embraced the quality of team work through their active participation.
Dikeledi Sibanda the project officer of FEW expresses that the organisation encourages women and children to participate in sports, “it keeps one mentally and physically fit”. She adds that “We will give the winners an R1000.00 to contribute towards buying new sporting kits”.
Sibanda also encourages funders to fund the tournament because she sees growth and development through active participation of women in the sports realm.
“I think Peg Grey is one of the most important initiatives the organisation has come up with” said Musa Ngubane, former FEW staff. She adds that the prize money for the winning teams is a good idea “I know that most township teams are underdeveloped and I know that the money will develop teams in one way or another.
The eventful day that appreciated women, was a blissful endeavour that brought women of different colour, background and sexuality together. Women gathered in sports to commemorate other women, who were and still are in women’s movements to fight injustice and sexism. Unsurprisingly so there were a lot of male spectators who were extremely excited about seeing women in skimpy shorts and tight T-shirts, “I feel greatful to take part in this tournament as a male coach and it is an honour to be here to celebrate women because this is their month” articulate Funo Ndlangamandla, the Net ball coach of Uthingo the Rainbow.
Lindelwa Nene, of team Oldees expresses that “taking part in such initiatives not only does it do the greater good for the townships but it also means that we are gradually taken seriously as women in the who play sport. She adds that women deserve to be celebrated and what better ways through letting them do what they good at. “Getting more exposure and sponsors is still a major battle for us, but with patience and passion for Net ball we will get there someday”.
Soccer and basketball are male infested sports, this day though was a day to prove that women can break boundaries, challenge clichés and societal norms, and showcase their talents. The women from Soweto Raptures a basketball team express their love for basketball and their support for today’s course. They also maintain their word that “sports is not about gender but it is about passion and unity”.
The winners of the sporting contest namely Oldees in Net ball, UJ Alumni in basketball and UJ stars in soccer all walked away with the Price of a thousand rand an golden medals. “We are really excited, winning this has made my month” said Christina Mogale.
She further utters that other teams must realize that it is not about winning and losing, but it’s about coming together and embracing their talents.
Peg grey Women’s Tournament: Activism through sports
Next week the annual Peg Grey Women’s tournament will kick off as chosen FEW other women sports teams participate in Soccer, Netball and Basketball.
This year the games will be held in Moletsane Sports Complex on the 25th of august 2012, as a group of lesbians advance and defend the rights for all through their activism work in sports. Each team is comprised of women from the Township and around Johannesburg. Teams have played and won medals at the International Gay and Lesbian Football games in London and Chicago, women are invited from schools, universities and local clubs in the province. August being women’s month it is fitting that they take this opportunity to raise awareness on hate crimes as a violation against women and lesbians in South Africa through sports.
The tournament games are played in remembrance of the late Prey Grey and other women who were and still are in the women’s movement to fight injustice.
Dear Distinguished members and friends of FEW,
We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude for taking your precious time to come to the AGM and Celebration on Saturday. We know that you had better things to do but you chose to spend that day with FEW. It was so nice to see all of you beautiful people. To those who volunteered their time to make sure that this day was a huge success sbamba ngazbini.
Also to the dedicated board and staff, you guys are amazing, kwande apho nithatha khona. Last but not least to our loyal members and supporters, we hope that we will continue supporting each other, and most importantly we hope that you will continue letting us know how we can best serve you. From the bottom of our hearts thank you, ningadinwa nangomso.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ON SAPA WIRES
ANC Meeting with LGBTI
08 August 2012
A delegation of the African National Congress led by the Secretary General Comrade Gwede Mantashe, met representatives of the Lesbian, Gays, Transgender, Bisexual and Intersex (LGBTI) persons today (08 August 8,
2012) at the ANC Head Quarters in Johannesburg. The meeting was requested by the LGBTI following a nu
mber of attacks and murders on their members allegedly because of homophobic reasons. They also raised challenges their members face in the rural areas where a number of these attacks and murders have happened.
According to LGBTI, there is limited success in the prosecution of those arrested for homophobic violence. This failure by law enforcement to deal with homophobic violence undermines their rights. They also raised concern about the silence of the ANC against those who belong to the ANC, when they utter homophobic sentiments.
The LGBTI has also raised concern about the gender policy of the ANC and that it does not go far enough to address the issue of Gender preference.
The ANC responded by saying that the current Constitution which protects the rights of people despite their sexual orientation was championed by the ANC. It was further pointed out that the ANC, as a progressively inclusive organization, was not averse to the views and interest of LGBTI and does not support homophobic views even those of our members including public representatives.
The ANC has committed itself to raise the concerns with the Justice cluster to ensure that these attacks and murders of members of LBGTI are dealt with decisively. The ANC has agreed with LGBTI on the need for continuous education of communities on the adherence to human rights stipulations as contained in our in our Constitution and our Bill of rights that includes respect for gays and lesbians. This can be achieved through deliberate campaigns in our communities.
A Joint Committee between the ANC and the LGBTI has been established with an intention of designing a campaign of educating our communities about the rights of gays and lesbians as fellow South Africans, whose right need to be respected and protected.
ANC National Spokesperson
Keith Khoza 0828239672
Ishmael Mnisi 0823335550
Jabu Pereira from Iranti-Org 082 957 5349
Zoleka. FEW 011 403 1907
Virginia Setshedi 0820823059
Forum for the Empowerment of Women, is celebrating its tenth anniversary of serving the Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender women in communities of South Africa. The lgbti community and allies will come together on August 4, 2012 to recognize and celebrate our accomplishments/ existence.
We have been fortunate during the ten years to have navigated the non-profit sectors, when many similar organizations have not been as fortunate. Our anniversary approaches when our services are needed more than ever, as crimes against the Lesbian community have increased.
FEW, wishes to extend our gratitude of appreciation to our founders, Zanele Muholi, Donna Smith and so many others. Special thanks are extended to our funders and donors that have been instrumental in our ten years of success.
The Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW) is a national, Non-Profit organization based in Johannesburg, South Africa, which aims to articulate, advance, and protect the rights of Black Lesbians, Bisexual and Transgender women. Our work, energy and resources are focused and deeply rooted in, informed and shaped by our constituency.
Our Mission is the empowerment of women by focusing on developing a Black Lesbian identifies and raises awareness of Black Lesbian women and youth rights.
Our Vision is to champion the rights of Black Lesbian women in a transformed society where all the rights enshrined in the South African Constitution are realized for the benefit of all.
As an activist and feminist organization, we support and build the ability of LBT women to live and work as human rights defenders. We view ourselves as an integral part of the LGBTI sector, the feminist, women’s rights and human rights sectors.
We are involved in a number of projects that address the issues of the LGBTI community which expresses publicly and celebrates our identities through activism and the resilience as Lesbian women. Our activism over the last ten years has raised the consciousness regarding the violations against women particularly hate crimes targeted at Lesbians.
FEW aims to make schools a safe environment for all learners especially the LBGTI learners and build Lesbian activists and organizations that create a safe space for Lesbian women in the Townships.
FEW contributes toward empowering Lesbian women, to address the gender-based violence targeted at lesbian women through the use of media to raise awareness to society about the life experiences of the LBT women in South Africa. FEW continues to work with Community Based Organizations in local Townships to address issues that affect Lesbians
All Friends of FEW are invited to attend our 10th year Anniversary Celebration
Date: Saturday, August 4, 2012
Time: AGM 1:00pm – 4:00pm - The Reception 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Venue: Constitution Hill Atrium
The AGM is aimed at updating FEW constituency and partners on the work of the organization in the past year and provide opportunity for input to the future direction of the organization.
The Evening Event: “Celebrating FEW’s 10th Anniversary” Tie Gala Dinner & Reception Time: 6:00pm – until late
After Party Celebration Open Closet @ Roxy’s Melville
Please RSVP to Dikeledi Sibanda/Phindi Malaza
011 403 1906/7 (Tel)
011 403 1035 (Fax)
A NATIONAL CALL TO ACTION AGAINST VIOLENCE AND MURDERS TOWARDS LESBIANS, GAYS, TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX PEOPLE!!!!!!!
Friends of Open Closet, Forum for the Empowerment of Women ,Iranti-Org and LGBTI Against Hate Crimes invite you to:
The 67 minute Picket at JHB Library Gardens in protest to the escalating Hate Crimes against members of the LGBTI community!!!!!!!!
date: 18 July 2012
venue: JHB Library Gardens, Cnr Fraser & Market streets
Be part also of the Civil Society Organisation meeting
Date: 13 July 2012
Venue: Wits University Institute for Social and Economic Research
6th floor Richard Ward Building East Campus
National Vigil 67 minutes across South Africa and the world. In memory of LGBTI persons killed in hate crimes. Candles- commemoration
Date:18 July 2012.
Time: 6pm -7:30pm
Venue: Constitution Hill Old Women's Jail
Memorial Service Sanna Supa (Lesbian Women who was shot in Her house at Soweto)
The memorial service of Sanna Supa will be taking place in Braamfischerville at a church
the HOUSE OF VICTORY not very far from the Braamfischer spar, for directions
you can contact Mpho Ndo Lekoane her number is 0764776899.
The memorial service starts at 16:00 till 18:00 , 05 July 2012 and please lets try and keep time.
There is another memorial service conducted by Sanna's colleagues at 12 in snake park which we could not join into it because of time differences for those who are working, however those available at that time can attend it as well and can contact Comfort for directions his number is 0826827087.
Lets support as much as we can and be reminded that the family has requested maximum respect during the memorial service as well as the funeral. We also need to bear in mind that Sanna's death affects us all and let this be the opportunity to join hands against homophobia and hate crimes such as these that robbed us of Sanna and the others across the country.
LETS ALL WRITE THIS MESSAGE AS OUR STATUS: CALL TO ACTION AGAINST VIOLENCE!
Hendrietta Thapelo Morifi
BY CINDY MOLEFE
CO ORDINATOR AND FOUNDER OF LIMPOPO LGBTI PROUDLY OUT
It is with great sadness to learn about the brutal rape and murder of Andritha, aged 29 years, in Limpopo. Andritha was openly out lesbian living with her 2 year old daughter and her mother in Polo Park, Mokopane, Limpopo. On Friday, 29 June 2012, Andritha left home to go to town and requested her mother to collect her 2 year old daughter from crèche on her behalf.
Her mother collected Andritha’s daughter from crèche and took her to family members place of residence a few houses away from her house. Andritha’s mother did not see Andritha for the rest of the day on Friday, which she was not overly concerned about.
However, she became slightly concerned when Andritha had still not come to collect her daughter around 05H30 / 06H00 on Saturday morning, but did not suspect any malicious doing. She decided to walk to her house to collect nappies for Andritha’s daughter who spent the night with her.
Upon arrival at her house, she was met with a locked door and total silence. Her persistent knocking was unanswered which raised question for her whether Andritha was in fact inside the house at all? When looked through the window the key inside the door confirmed to her that Andritha was in fact inside the house, but why was she not responding to the knock and calling of her name remained unanswered.
She decided to attempt to force the door open but failed. She also observed that the door was tempered with at the bottom, so she thought to herself that maybe Andritha has lost her key and decided to break the door. She crowl underneath it bt was met with fingerprints of blood on the door.
Becoming increasingly alarmed, When she eventually opened the door, she found Andritha’s bed looked like no one has slept on it. She decided to check her bedroom and only the continental pillows were at its place and the blankets were piled up on top of the bed.
It was the sight of Andritha’s underwear on the floor drenched in blood that signaled alarm bells. Upon further exploring she discovered Andritha’s pair of pants also drenched in blood. The blood trail led to the blankets on the bed and finally to her shock, the naked, lifeless body of her daughter, Andritha, underneath the heap of bedding and pillows. Andritha was stabbed in the neck with a braai fork and her neck was slit from ear to ear and her mother suspected that she had been raped.
Her mother then called members of family to the scene and notified the police. After the police had inspected the crime scene and questioned potential witnesses, 2 male suspects were arrested. The one suspect’s shoes matched the prints found in Andritha’s blood on the floor of her house. In addition, the suspect’s cigarette bud was also found inside Andritha’s house and he was wearing Andritha’s jacket.
It was disappointing to note that the SAPS had not provided Andritha’s family with a case number as late as 3 days after the murder was reported. When we went to enquire about the case after speaking to Andritha’s family, the officers on duty at the police station could not confirm if arrests were made and if the suspects were still in custody.
According to their records, the murder was reported and a case number assigned, but there is no documentation indicating that arrests were made or whether the suspects are still in police custody or not.
Upon further discussions with the family, it is alleged that some community members have seen one of the suspects in the community after the police had indicated to the family that the suspects were arrested.
I called the police station this morning and they said that the suspects were released as there was not enough evidence to keep them in custody.
Andritha is survived by her beautiful 2 year old daughter.
Another slain lesbian and child of our soil. Enough is Enough !!!!!!
Lalangoxolo Andritha. We will remain fighting the struggle for you!
For more info call Cindy: 0843726049
LETTER TO OUR PARENTS!
Can you please do something or say something to these evil men who are murdering, raping us because of our sexuality. Please save us from this pain?I fear for our lives every day i ask myself who's next and that doesn't sit well with me, I’m sure if u stand up and say enough is enough and show that you love and support us, you would succeed in fighting this hatred, because this issues affects you as well.
I’m writing this letter full of tears, loosing hope, weak, and most of all tired and disappointed that our government, justice system, broader communities and our families are not taking action to protect us from these evil men who think killing women particularly lesbians and giving us pain is a solution and that makes them men enough and makes it right for them to do that, but still no one is saying anything about that, no one cares even when they know that we are being brutally murdered.
Parents help us reclaim our humanity and dignity, I feel like a criminal in my own country and criminals walk free after doing this shocking and hateful things to our bodies, and boast about what they are doing to us and still continue doing that just because they think we are competing with them and feel threatened by us, REALLY? Is it Power relations, is it culture and tradition? That’s just scary and oppressive to lesbian women and to women in general. When half of the population feel that they own every woman’s body and they can do anything because they know that women are vulnerable.
I feel and I’m confident to say we are being disrespected, threatened, prejudice and our human rights are violated yet our justice system is failing us.
We don’t want to be tolerated , we have human rights by virtue of being Human, being a lesbian does not make us less human, there’s nothing wrong with us loving same sex, I never thought that loving women can make people to be this insecure and have this much hate.
Nonkululeko “said she has more reasons why she won’t have a man in her life and said she won’t change who she is and what she believe in and for her to get what she wants she work hard and smart, she doesn’t go around hurting people causing unnecessary pain to them, so these men need to learn that”.
Parents we are your children, we need you to fight this with us, if you as our parents can stand up against this evil, the senseless murders would go down, if not end.
I know it’s hard for you as well but is it hard for you to say STOP the murders on our Children’s body? Come out as collective and say something, make noise for us, start campaigns involve yourselves in human rights organisation so that you know that its within your right to fight for human rights and for those that a marginalised what happened to Wathinta umfazi wathintha Imbhokodo?
If you love us and care about us its time you stand up for us and raise awareness about these issues.
LESBIAN’S RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS, QUEER RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS!
Marching for our rights, Struggle Must Continue!
A march for the protection of gay rights took place on May 19, 2012. The protest was against the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa(CONTRALESA) which wants to amend the South African Constitution and do away with the Civil Union Act.
Contralesa calls for the removal of constitutional protections for gays, urging the government to do away with the Civil Union Act, which legalised same-sex marriages, and for President Jacob Zuma to hold a referendum on the issue of same-sex unions.
Pakile Holomisa, Anc MP and chairman of contralesa is reported to have told City Press on May 6 that, while gay people should not be “molested and raped”, homosexuality was a “condition that occurred when certain cultural rituals have not been performed”.
“Once you take them (gays) to a spiritual healer they (the healers) tell you it’s because some ritual hasn’t been performed. But when rituals are done, the person starts to behave like other people in society. I don’t know how it works for people in other cultures and those who live in urban areas.”
This statement uttered by Holomisa however, caused an eruption of emotions in the gay community. Different LGBTI organisations and a vast number of people gathered outside Wits University marching their way to the Constitutional Court to fight for their rights. “Petunia from IHAWU said” it is our duty to defend our rights, not only the lgbti but the human race, ritual or no ritual we will always be like this”. The crowd was chanting and screaming “Hands off our Rights”.
Genevieve Le Coq, from Gay Pride SA expressed that “although we didn’t get a memorandum from the court or let alone a representative we will continue to stand together and fight against this, this however is a sign that shows the prejudice that we are getting” as he continued to scream the words “gay and here to stay”. He further stated that this is a beautiful country and there is enough sunshine for everyone, we are proud to be here.
Melanie Louw, SA musician, said “marriage is the opportunity to be in love, and it shouldn’t matter who is involved, we embrace love and so should everyone”. She expressed the importance of love and how discrimination is a barrier of affection in the gay community.
The colourful crowd was filled with so much agony yet gathered in unity with so much pride and happiness, the countless screams continued in praise screeching Amandla and chanting songs of the struggle.
“South Africa treats us like we are second class citizens, maybe it’s because we don’t have a representative in the government, and maybe it’s time the state elects someone to protect our rights. I mean they make us feel less important, but when it comes to our taxes we matter” said Keabetswe Molefe, one of the people that attended the march.
Limpopo’s Successful First Gay Pride!
The first ever Limpopo Gay Pride March was a success full of mixed emotions. The emotions expressed the most were that of excitement and pride. The jubilant crowd from different parts of Limpopo were armed with placards and banners expressing pride as LGBTI people and sending across messages combating discrimination.
As this was the first gay pride parade, attendance during the march was not as expected by the organisers, less number of people participated in the march. FEW re-assured the organisers that with time people will feel comfortable and safe to take part in the march and Limpopo pride will grow bigger and bigger each year because the community will be aware of the impact the march creates.
Mahlatse Modila from the Observer Newspaper said “I expected to see a lot of people today. I understand though that a lot of people here in Polokwane are still in the closet. They fear that the media is here and they are scared to show face, but hopefully next year will be better”
Andries Sefole who was at the march said” I’m glad that finally Limpopo has a Gay pride, it was long overdue. What we need to do now is treat this thing like a baby and nurture it”. He also added that being openly gay in Polokwane is still a taboo but slowly but surely people are getting the jinx of all this, the more we speak out the more we’ll be heard.
The atmosphere was very welcoming and the Limpopo police and traffic officers came in big numbers to ensure safety of the marchers, they supported the crowd until the march was over, one police man walked with the parade from start to the end of the march!
Organisations such as Out-Wellbeing; Shout It Now supported the event with their mobile clinics, Anova Health and others with pamphlets and other information. Open Closet graced the event with an official after party at Thornhill.
FEW CONGRATULATES THE ORGANISERS OF LIMPOPO PRIDE FOR A WELL ORGANISED PRIDE, WE LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NEXT LIMPOPO PRIDE IN 2013!
And thank you to all that attended to make it a success it turned out to be!
Media statement for immediate release
08 May 2012
LGBTI community standing up against oppressive patriarchal leaders!
As the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex ( LGBTI) community we are enraged that traditional leaders are making such careless statements. It is such a betrayal when a body that is supposed to protect the rights of people turns around and proposes an amendment of those very rights to exclude people from the constitution. We have a constitution to protect the rights of everyone, not just those of the majority. Nkosi Patekile Holomisa claims that “the majority of South Africa is against the promotion and protection of these things” we have a constitution precisely to do that, even though the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex community (LGBTI) is the minority, but they are human first and foremost and by virtue of being human they are entitled to human rights and equal protection of the law, there are no exceptions.
What the National House of Traditional Leaders is doing is very dangerous, as Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW) we do not know if they realise that this constitutes a hate speech. They are inciting violence towards the LGBTI community. They are leaders, what they say no matter how irrational, will be taken as an order to take action by some people.
Hate crimes against the LGBTI community are on the rise in South Africa, and we have leaders who claim that homosexuality is a condition, an ailment that has to be remedied. We seem to be regressing rather than progressing, if we have leaders who think they way that the National House of Traditional Leaders thinks. To remove a certain group of people from the constitution would be a dangerous slippery slope, whose rights are going to be taken next? Taking away sexual orientation would affirm that it is alright to kill, rape, torture others based on sexual orientation. What would follow next would be criminalization of it.
We demand that the National House of Traditional Leaders apologises to the LGBTI community and take back what they said, because it is an infringement of people’s rights. Our bill of rights in section 16(2) says even though we have the freedom of expression, but “ freedom of expression does not extend to (b) incitement of imminent violence, (c) Advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.
The language that Kgosi Thobejane used (on radio 702 at 10: am on May 7th 2012 with Redi Tlhabi that can be found on podcast,) was carefully selected to incite action, words such as “unnatural, condition, not normal, we cannot allow it, who will account for this to the next generation”? What we would like to know is if they are going to account to this generation for all the homophobic attacks that will result from his speech? They clearly incite people to want to act and fix whatever condition he is talking about.
As for Nkosi Patekile Holomisa to claim that “people are homosexuals because they skipped a ritual, when the right rituals are conducted they are cured”, shows how clueless he is. We fail to see how same sex marriages infringe on anyone’s rights whereas what they are proposing is a clear infringement on people’s rights. This clearly undermines people’s dignity.
I guess marrying a hundred straight wives gets old after a while, so they have to tap into the homosexual community as well. What is the National House of Traditional Leaders doing to fix the alarmingly high divorce rates, now they want to pick on people who love each other enough to want to stay together and be a family, Thobejane is worried about homosexuals adopting children, what have they done to fix these high rates of orphaned children? As traditional leaders they need to stick to things they know a thing or two about, and leave the homosexual community alone, because obviously they know nothing about homosexuality.
For more information please contact the following:
Director /Programmes Coordinator
Zoleka Luswazi /Phindi Malaza
T: 011 403 1906/7
F: 011 403 1035
By: Kopano Sibeko
The Johannesburg metro police department (JMPD) is under question of a discriminatory act towards the Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) group. A clear discrimination has come to the fore based on the letter of complaint that was written to the JMPD by the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW) on 3rd of March the complaint letter is about dissatisfied about the prejudice FEW constantly experience from JMPD when it comes to servicing sthem, as this was not the first time JMPD did not show up/ attend to render their service at our event. This situation puts our lives in danger every time we march without the presence of the officers.
“We sent a letter and numerous oral requests to the department, but to date the organisation hasn’t received no response to any of these requests” says Phindi Malaza the programmes coordinator at FEW.
According to FEW, the department’s unwillingness to respond to the complaint raised by the organisation is apparent that the department is discriminatory towards the lgbti group. FEW stated that the organisation has asked for the service of the JMPD on the Soweto Pride March which is an annual event from 2009, 2010 and 2011 but the JMPD did not arrive, so subsequent to all its unavailability on these dates the department didn’t apologise nor explain for their non-attendance.
“We were granted permission and we followed all the procedures required by Joint Organising Committee (JOC), yet the JMPD still failed us. Not even once did they take the initiative to contact us after our numerous attempts” expressed Dikeledi Sibanda the project Officer at FEW. She furthermore explains that the failure of the JMPD to respond to our letter clearly shows prejudice on the part of the JMPD or one Pinkie Mpahlele in particular and the disregard of the organisation. “They don’t care about us, and this attitude must stop, we are part of South Africa’s citizens too”, she says.
Pinkie Mpahlele the communication events manager of the JMPD denies all the allegations thrown at the department, “those people are wrong, they did not communicate with me effectively” she states that the organisation did not speak to her directly but they spoke to her colleague Kau. “I am not at work, they should call me after two weeks, maybe I can try to help”, she adds.
The organisation divulges that it is on this basis that they view the reluctance of the department to respond to their complaint as discrimination, unless they can prove otherwise. The organisation’s interest right now is to know if the department will be able to provide security for them this year.
The silence of the department clearly confirms the suspicion alleged by FEW that the department is discriminatory against the lgbti group.
The department’ s spokesperson Edna Mmamonyane articulates that she knows nothing of this matter and that the department does not patrol on events but police drive around to check and come back later on again when the crowd disperses, just to see if there are any funny activities. “I cannot comment much on the issue, but I will have to try and find out from the events management why this matter was not followed” she say
CITIZEN JOURNALISM TRAINING WORKSHOP
On the 16-19 April 2012, FEW together with Behind the Mask (BTM) will be running Citizen Journalism training workshop, to building the capacity of black lesbians to fight gender based violence and other issues affecting lesbian women in townships through the use of writing and using photos to educate, raise awareness and feed to a body of knowledge about the life experiences of women particular black lesbian women in their communities. only 5 black lesbian women where selected from different townships in different movements/groups EPOC (Kwathema),IHAWU (Katlehong), UTHINGO (Dayveton), SOHACA (Soweto) and Tisatsereletso(Vooslorus)
These stories/articles will be published in social networks, website and blog. Partnerships with community news papers and radio stations will be formed so that we create more awareness through these mediums to share and discuss these issues so that our member’s and broader community are aware of issues around their communities.
FEW has a new DIRECTOR!!!
FEW advertised for a new Director in 2011. It had numerous responses and we have finally made an appointment.
Zoleka Luswazi matched the requirements most closely, especially with regard to feminist activism,
advocacy and fund raising. She is a South African who was living in the USA for 11 years and has been
involved in community work for most of her career.
Zoleka was a spokesperson for Mothers for Justice in Connecticut in the States, a programme that empowered
marginalized women-Hispanic and low income, and black women-through skills development.
What attracted Zoleka to FEW was her strong interest in defending human rights, empowering women and the
Calling to make a difference. She is a social justice advocate and this was reflected in her work in health care reform
And domestic violence in the States. Zoleka herself moved from a victim of domestic violence to being an educator
on domestic violence in the States. She believes that all forms of violence should be addressed.
Zoleka also worked on a policy that would enable a domestic violence victim to be made aware of her perpetrator
if he/she is within 100 miles of the victim. Her motivation was to ensure that what happened to her does not happen
to other victims of domestic violence.
Zoleka is a devoted mother of two bright energetic boys and she is enthusiastic about working with FEW and
its allies, and she is eager to create new networks and relationships.
Zoleka has served on a number of Boards – TEAM (Training , Education and Manpower) and she was Chairperson
for the Early Education Policy Council in Connecticut.
Zoleka wrote an article in her private capacity to the SOWETAN in 2009 about Hate Crimes, in particular
raising the issue of xenophobia in South Africa. She feels strongly that even with the inclusive South African
Constitution, LGBTI persons still live in fear because the very society we live in shuns and oppresses lesbians,
gay men, bisexual persons, transgender persons and intersex persons.
We welcome Zoleka to the FEW family!
FEW new Office Address
Sixth Floor, Heerengracht Building
87 De Korte Street
contact details: 011 403 1906/1907
from the 1st March you can contact us on the following until further notice:
, or contact the Office Manager at 079 475 2580, or the Programmes Coordinator at 073 240 6049.
Imagine living every day of your life in fear, afraid to venture into public places because you do not know if and when you could become the next victim of a hate crime solely because of your sexual orientation. Every 26 seconds, a woman is raped in South Africa.
Noxolo Nogwaza, a member of the Ekurhuleni Pride Organising Committee, a gay rights group, was stoned to death in KwaThema Township outside Johannesburg in 2011.
Eudy Simelane, a former South African international women's footballer, was gang raped, beaten and stabbed 25 times in the face, chest, and legs, was murdered in 2008 in KwaThema. One of her attackers pleaded guilty to rape and murder and is now serving a 32-year jail sentence.
Sizakele Sigasa and Salome Masooa, partners who were raped and tortured before being shot in the head and killed in 2007 in Soweto. The men were never convicted and the case has since been closed.
Zoliswa Nkonyana was brutally murdered in 2006 by a mob of 20 men. To date, only 9 have been arrested and charged. The trial has faced numerous delays and has been postponed more than 30 times in five years.