President Ramaphosa must rebuke his deputy Mabuza for failing to stand up against human rights abusers

Issued by John Steenhuisen MP – DA Parliamentary Leader
08 Nov 2019 in News

During yesterday’s oral question session in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), Deputy President David Mabuza refused to publicly condemn the attacks and human rights abuses being levelled against members of the LGBTQI+ community across the African continent.

In response to a question by DA MP Tim Brauteseth as to whether he will take a principled stand and condemn human rights abuses across Africa, Mabuza responded by saying ‘let’s be decent and keep our mouths shut’ – refusing to denounce the immoral and unjust behaviour of fellow African states towards members of the LGBTQI+ community.

It cannot be this government’s stance to keep quiet in the face of an assault on the rights of fellow Africans. As a leader on the continent, South Africa ought to be a vocal champion of human rights and a torchbearer for progressive, compassionate politics. The Deputy President’s conduct in Parliament yesterday smacks of cowardice. Our nation and our continent deserve much better.

Moreover, this is in direct violation of one of the responsibilities assigned to the Deputy President by the President, namely to “assist the President in efforts towards building a better Africa”. President Ramaphosa assigned this function to Deputy President Mabuza in terms of section 91(2) of the Constitution, and it appears that Mabuza has chosen to “keep his mouth shut” instead of performing his responsibility.

Therefore, I call on President Cyril Ramaphosa to strongly rebuke Deputy President Mabuza’s remarks and blatant refusal to condemn these actions, and to break this government’s silence by taking a strong public stance against the attack on LGBTQI+ Africans in many countries on the continent.

The DA will continue to fight for the rights of all, both at home and abroad, especially those who have been ostracised and condemned in the past. This is crucial to our mission of building One South Africa for All.