LGBTQ and intersex rights groups across Africa have condemned the signing of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act that calls for the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality.” Mpho Buntse, a spokesperson for Access Chapter 2, a South African LGBTQ and intersex advocacy organization, said it was very worrisome the South African government did not condemn the law, even though the country is the only one on the continent that fully upholds LGBTQ and intersex rights. “It has really been apparent that South Africa would rather protect its diplomatic relations rather than impose on the sovereignty of a country like Uganda.
However, we are not dealing with an issue of economic or financial diplomacy, but we are dealing with a human rights crisis.
We are dealing with a situation where we could see potential violence being subjected to the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda, but not only to the LGBTQ+ community but the rest of the Ugandan population stands to be affected by this law because even if you don’t identify as LGBTQ+ you will be compelled to report to the state those that you know that identify as LGBTQ+,” said Buntse. “So we find it really problematic that we choose to be just spectators when we could or potentially have played an active role from the start of this.” Buntse noted Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who signed the Anti-Homosexuality Act on Monday, was in South Africa in late February. “We didn’t seize the opportunity to play an active role, so South Africa is always on a missed opportunity where we are now seeing a country to be a spectator instead of being an ally of the LGBTQ+ community,” added Buntse.