South African National Department of Justice and Constitutional Development: “We call upon Mr Weyer to give a written explanation to his statements to the National Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. An investigation will be conducted and the Ministry reported to accordingly.”
By Melanie Nathan, June 11, 2012.
Last month a group of South African activists and NGO’s banded together under an ad hoc coalition called “Protect the South African Constitution Coalition ” (PSACC) which organized protests against the anti-gay parliamentary committee meetings being held by the Parliamentary Traditional Leaders in South Africa, calling to revoke sexual orientation and gender identity rights from the all-inclusive South African Constitution.
Mr. Gay South Africa Pty Ltd, its director (owner) Coenie Kukkuk and Mr. Lance Weyer, in his capacity as Mr. GAY South Africa (Mr.GSA) were asked to participate in the PSACC Coalition and indeed provided support to the protests that ensued in major cities across South Africa.
However during the course of the protests a politician and Democratic Alliance Member of Parliament, who also happens to be a gay man, MP Manny De Freitas, issued a statement that was interpreted by activists as mocking the protests of the gay community. De Freitas issued a subsequent apology which many felt was inadequate.
The current Mr. GSA, Lance Weyer took the vocal and public side of De Freitas. Weyer happens to be a paid career politician sharing the same DA party of MP De Freitas. Weyer sent out an accusatory and divisive letter to the gay community which was later published and circulated. The communication found its way to the office of the South African National Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DOJCD) which took offense at its contents.
The DOJCD sent a letter of complaint to Weyer at the end of May, asserting his statements to be false and irregular and asked Weyer for an explanation.
Weyer responded by avoiding direct answers to the questions and instead provided a partial excuse, which served as crucial admissions, only to implicate him further in the offensiveness of his initial comments. This made matters worse for Weyer, the reputation of the Mr. GAY SA organization and called into question a possible conflict of interest on the part of Weyer.
Instead of a diplomatic and appropriate response Weyer saw fit to attack the DOJCD even further, with an arrogant response, where he called on the DOJCD to answer unrelated questions which may well have had advocacy relevance if done properly, according to protocol and in an appropriate context.
The DOJCD has now responded and sent a further communication to Lance Weyer asserting their dissatisfaction with his first response to them, demanding answers and informing Weyer that an investigation is being launched against him.
Here is the DOJCD latest letter (the preceding communication from the DOJCD can be seen on an earlier OBLOGDEE post at – https://oblogdeeoblogda.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/mr-gay-south-africa-lance-weyer-should-resign-after-reprimanded-by-doj/ )
Date: Wed, 6 Jun 2012 10:11:42 +0000
To: Lance Weyer
Those Cc’d Mr. GAY SA, Coenie Kukkuk (owner of Gay Mr. GAY SA and an attorney, and a group of South African leaders, activists and politicians.
Subject: RE: REPLY: 30 May DOJCD
Dear Mr Weyer
The DOJCD welcomes and is confident in responding to questions related to the Task Team. Kindly submit a request for records of a public body in terms of Section 18(1) of the Promotion of Access to Information Act(2000). The DOJCD will adhere to and respond in the time provided by the Act.
With regards to the so called “communication unanswered” – eight ( 8 ) hours before our correspondence the Minister’s Spokesperson and myself received an anonymous sms in the evening stating they were a Lance Weyer and that we should send our email addresses. Mr Weyer will appreciate we did not know who you were, whom you were representing but despite that as we would have done anybody else – responded in eight ( 8 ) hours. We submit there are also numerous mediums of contacting the Minister’s Spokesperson and myself of which was not done adequately. Please do so in the future.
That being said the DOJCD deems it prudent that Mr Weyer respond to the questions he failed to respond to. Namely as to whom Mr Weyer is referring to when he states that he is in consultation with members of the DOJCD and with whom they are creating a new and improved Task Team. We also inquire as to the EU Funding that has been referred to. In addition the misrepresentation of the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development without his mandate.
We call upon Mr Weyer to give a written explanation to his statements to the National Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. An investigation will be conducted and the Ministry reported to accordingly.
Thank you for your email.
In recent weeks, LGBTI activists have taken umbrage with the self described designation by the Mr. GAY South Africa pageant in its assertion that the winner of the exclusive pageant represents all South Africa’s LGBTI community as its “Ambassador for LGBTI rights in South Africa.”
The current Mr. Gay SA has also been accused of wearing conflicting hats in his capacity as the winner of the contest with an activist designation being in direct conflict with his career as a member of a Democratic Alliance(DA), a political party.
Instead of adhering to his perceived role as a gay rights activist, Weyer inserted personal party politics by writing a BLOG calling on all gays to support his DA party at a time when non partisan unity was called for in the Coalition’s fight against the Traditional leaders.
As can be seen this may have hurt the LGBTI community, as the current administration has not taken kindly to the divisive party politics deployed when Weyer noted in his Blog post “Why the DA is the only party for LGBTI South Africans,” while at the same time purporting to represent a nonpartisan LGBTI community by questions to the DOJCD on its behalf.
At this point in time it would seem appropriate that Lance Weyer resign as Mr. GSA and that Mr. GSA issue a statement retracting its mission statement that the annual winner of the pageant represents the entire SA LGBTI community as its Ambassador for LGBTI rights in South Africa.
Mr. GSA has a vacation planned in NYC later this month where he is attending a panel discussion at the Human Rights Watch. It is my hope that when Lance Weyer’s appearance is announced the organizers of the HRW panel are clear that Weyer ‘s politics are not a reflection of the LGBTI community of South Africa and that in fact he is an anti-ANC career politician who is representing a “for profit ” organization, Mr. GAY South Africa (PTY) LTD.
I too have been invited to NYC to speak on the same panel. I am unsure of my ability to participate at this time.