06/06/2011 By Melanie Nathan
Johannesburg – South Africa’s ambassador to Uganda, Jon Qwelane, will apply for rescission of a judgment in which he was found guilty of hate speech, his lawyers said on Monday. The known homophobic envoy, a recent President Jacob Zuma (response to favors) appointee to anti-gay Uganda, will not come home from Uganda, will not pay his miserable $15,000 fine and will challenge the ruling.
The South African Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, yet at the same time distinguishes hate speech and the resulting harm it can cause. The S.A. Equality Act’s purpose is to prevent discrimination that could result via hate speech, and so in essence it may be seen to curb freedom of speech. Yet Jon Qwelane will not try this defense.
Qwelane is a self confessed homophobe. We have it in writing, as they say in the classics! Qwelane, a former Sunday Sun columnist, was found guilty of hate speech by the Johannesburg Equality Court last Tuesday. The court found that an article and cartoon in his column propagated hatred and harm. As a result of his work, homosexuals had experienced emotional pain and suffering.
He does not have the sense to challenge the S.A. Constitution and the Equality Act – instead he is taking the very defense that may well provide reasoning behind the Zuma appointment of this unlikely Ambassador.
His application for rescission, according to his attorney, will state that Qwelane was not in “wilful default of the Equality Court, as he was in Kampala on public service on the date of the hearing,” Andrew Boerner, of Jurgens Bekker Attorneys, said.
This is a defense we predicted and lo and behold it has come to fruition. We were right all along; us bloggers and activists – indeed Qwelane’s favor was returned by Zuma. Qwelane is provided with a defense by Zuma in exchange for Qwelane’s journalistic support during the Zuma presidential campaign and Zuma’s rape trial.
Favor begets favor and guess at whose expense. Yes us the dirty rotten faggots of the world and the kill those homos in Africa!
Irony to top all; the biggest homophobe on the planet, who is found guilty of related crime, gets given his defense, by being sent to a country that exacerbates the crime for which he is guilty; (Uganda wants to obliterate all its gay people) and the man sending him is a rapist and President of a Country which has a Constitution that happens to guarantee equality to its LGBTI residents and citizens.
This is something out of a science fiction horror movie; what the heck is going on this world?
More to come… let me wrap my head around this for a few minutes…..
Okay more thoughts… a quote from a source in South Africa, who I shall not name…
“This whole thing is one big joke, and if it wasn’t so damn deplorable I would’ve been grabbing the popcorn.
During the time when Zuma was axed as Deputy President by Thabo Mbeki, and during the prelude to the infamous Polokwane Conference of 2007, Mr Qwelane was a staunch supporter of Jacob Zuma through his weekly column, it was not even veiled, it was outright favoritism and bias, but the Daily Sun tabloid is not exactly known for it’s journalistic integrity or quality. Front pages are often dominated by stories of Mr xxx from Putsonderwater who eats glass (which accompanying photo to boot), or of tales of tokoloshes.”(1)
This rescission will not be as easy as the court have served Qwelane with the court papers before he was smuggled out of the country (after a 1 month man-hunt;) and he was smuggled out by Zuma to become an ambassador to a foreign country….
“Oh and Mr. Qwelane happens to use the same lawyers as Media24, it is not like there is only one law firm in this town. But Jurgens Bekker of Plantation Road, Oriel, Bedfordview it has to be. I wonder what to make of that. Coincidence? Never a dull moment in this country… notes my source!”
If the same attorneys who represent Qwelane represent the media that ought to be writing to support the recall of Qwelane, one can only wonder who is zooming who? Or should I say who is zuming who?