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Lesbian activist Funeka Soldaat says laws alone won't stop LGBTIQ+ hate crimes

21 June 2021 12:54 PM
Tags:
Hate crimes
Hate Crimes Bill
LGBTIQ+ rights
LGBTIQ+ community
crimes against LGBTIQ+ people

Morning Review host Lester Kiewit chats to Harare CPF chair and LGBTIQ+ activist Funeka Soldaat about the spate of hate crimes in SA.
  • As LGBTQI+ attacks continue in South Africa, some activists have called for the Hate Crimes Bill to be passed
  • Lulama Mvandaba was buried last week, the third lesbian woman to be murdered in Khayelitsha in as many months
  • Local CPF chair and lesbian activist Funeka Soldaat says legislation alone will not address the scourge of homophobia and transphobia in this country
  • Soldaat says political leaders need to make a more concerted effort at condemning hate and creating an LGBTIQ+ inclusive society

Khayelitsha-based LGBTQ+ activist Funeka Soldaat says legislation alone will not put an end to hate crimes. Image: Facebook

Respected community activist Funeka Soldaat says the government needs to find better ways to combat rising hate crimes in South Africa.

Soldaat says legislation alone will not change the mindsets and attitudes of homophobic people in the country.

RELATED: SA media's lazy reportage on LGBTIQ+ stories feeds into hate: Matuba Mahlatjie

Some organisations have called for the government to pass the Hate Crimes Bill in order to help properly punish those who commit crimes against the lesbian, gay, bi, trans, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ+) community.

However, Soldaat argues that the Hate Crimes Bill will not address the deep-rooted homophobia and hatred that drives the LGBTIQ+ attacks.

She says political leaders need to address homophobia and transphobia beyond legislation, statements, and policy documents.

"Legislation will never change people's attitudes", she tells CapeTalk.

Soldaat says she's developed a thick skin as a lesbian woman living in Khayelitsha where she serves as the chairperson of the Harare community policing forum (CPF).

RELATED: Attacks on SA’s LGBTQIA+ community must be labelled as hate crimes, urges Glasa

She says LGBTIQ+ people have to constantly deal with discrimination from members of the community and even law enforcement.

At least three lesbians have been murdered in Khayelitsha in the past three months. Soldaat says many more hate crimes go unreported because of various reasons including stigma.

She says the brutal attacks on members of the LGBTIQ+ community will continue until there is real change.

Some LGBTIQ+ people are pushing for the Hate Crimes Bill to be implemented... It helps too, but the legislation will never change people's attitudes. People just need to change their attitudes. You don't need legislation to tell you not to kill someone.

Funeka Soldaat, Chairperson - Harare CPF

As long as we are not serious about dealing with homophobia and transphobia in this country, the killing is going to continue.

Funeka Soldaat, Chairperson - Harare CPF

It's emotionally draining sometimes. When you're talking about Lulama Mvandaba last week, there was Phelokazi Ndlwana before Lulama and there was this guy [Lonwabo Jack] from Nyanga.

Funeka Soldaat, Chairperson - Harare CPF

It seems the killing is going on and those cases that are reported and are visible are mostly the people that are very close to some of the activists and some of the parents that aren't shy about their kids that are gay or lesbian.

Funeka Soldaat, Chairperson - Harare CPF

Imagine those that are killed daily but their parents are still not comfortable talking about their sexual orientation as well as those who are still 'in the closet'.

Funeka Soldaat, Chairperson - Harare CPF

It has nothing to do with drinking, it's just someone has been thinking about this all the time but when they are drunk they can't hide their anger anymore.

Funeka Soldaat, Chairperson - Harare CPF

It's because of the ignorance of men... it's just all about power... patriarchy is very dangerous in that way

Funeka Soldaat, Chairperson - Harare CPF



21 June 2021 12:54 PM
Tags:
Hate crimes
Hate Crimes Bill
LGBTIQ+ rights
LGBTIQ+ community
crimes against LGBTIQ+ people

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