The DA welcomes the 25 years sentence handed down in the murder case of Lindo Cele.
Lindo, a proudly gay man was brutally murdered in Umlazi last year in what was clearly a hate crime. Whilst we welcome the sentence, and the fact that the judge in the case recognised this as a crime committed out of hate, the DA believes that sentencing murderers like this are not all that needs to be done to protect the vulnerable LGBTIQ+ community in South Africa.
The fact is that 26 years into our democracy, members of the LGBTIQ+ community are still being brutally attacked, and murdered, for the crime of loving someone that is of the same gender as them. Government should be focusing on prevention. Stopping murders like these from happening is far more effective than sentencing murderers after it has occurred.
What is needed is a dedicated and strong effort by various role players, including the departments of Social Development and Justice to work in communities to educate people on the rights of others, and to teach and promote tolerance and acceptance. It is also for this reason that the DA approved a Motion at its Federal Congress in 2020 to fight for conversion therapy aimed at gay youth to be made illegal in South Africa.
The DA in KZN will write to the MEC of Social Development to ask her what her department has done since this murder to address the issue of the safety of the LGBTIQ+ community in Umlazi.
South Africa has a constitution to be proud of, one that guarantees equal rights to people regardless of their sexuality, but these rights mean nothing if it is not written on the hearts of our people. The Constitution of South Africa is indeed a wonderful document to be proud of, but it did not protect the life of Lindo Cele.