Zuma’s condemnation of Malawi – where is it?

President Jacob Zuma responds to calls for him to condemn the sentencing of Malawian couple Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza.  Apparently we must have missed the SA government statement which cannot be located but was said!    He needs to do more than condemn the sentence and he knows this – this is shallow and unconvincing.

South Africa President Jacob Zuma has condemned Malawi’s imprisonment of two gay men who publicly announced their intention to marry.

Zuma has been under fire from civic and religious groups for failing to speak out against the persecution of the two men recently jailed for 14 years for conducting a homosexual relationship in violation of the country’s anti-gay laws.

But he told MPs while answering questions in parliament that South Africa had condemned the prosecution, saying members of the national assembly must have missed the statement.

“Why are you and your government, completely silent on this despicable homophobic assault on the human rights and dignity of our brothers and sisters across Africa,” Democratic Alliance MP Dion George asked.

Zuma said South Africa had spoken out against the arrest and trial of the two men, but no such statement could be found in a quick internet search as he spoke.

“I don’t think we have kept quiet, so we are with you on this issue as representing the country and the continent. We are working hard to change attitudes and we will continue to do so.

“We have condemned the action taken to arrest people in terms of our constitution because our constitution says so. We have stated the views of this country contained in the constitution,” Zuma said.

Protests marches calling for the release of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga will be held in London and New York on Saturday 29th at 1 and 2pm respectively.  London: outside the Malawian High Commission 70 Winnington Road, London N2 OTX and NY – 866 United Nations Plaza

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