South Africa Wits University Proud about Gay Pride

By Melanie Nathan, November 01, 2012.

My alma mater, The University of the Witwatersrand, and the University attended by Nelson Mandela, is hosting ‘Wits Pride,’ a week long event designed to create awareness and educate students about crimes motivated by hate against the LGBTI community in South African.

Marchers sang with scathing critique, pointing fingers at the president of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa and member of parliament Patekile Holomisa, who has been at the helm of inciting further homophobia, while bent on robbing South Africa’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex community of their entrenched constitutional right to equality. Holomisa’s antics can be found all over this BLOG with a simple search of his name.

I recall my own campus life at WITS School of Law, back in 1976, when I was just acknowledging my own sexuality. I remember the very moment we had word that the school children in Soweto were leaving their classrooms to protest being forced to study in Afrikaans.  Mostly privileged white students as we were in those days, we went onto Jan Smuts Avenue in solidarity, not realizing that the horrific events of the Soweto Riots were unfolding.

Now all these years later, there is an equal South Africa, where the Constitution ranks as one of the most progressive in the world- with full equality based on sexual orientation and gender identity. While equality is what the law dictates, that is not what society is adhering to.  South Africa’s LGBTI community suffers extreme prejudice, violence and persecution, from society at large, in flagrant disregard of the Constitution.

I am happy to note that WITS students are maintaining the University tradition and the imperative integrity of equality for all. I  remain a proud Alumni.

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  1. Another young South African soccer player murdered for being a lesbian | O-blog-dee-o-blog-da - November 11, 2012

    […] South Africa Wits University Proud about Gay Pride ( […]

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