ANC condemned for excluding LGBTIQA+ in its NEC

Fresh from its 55th National Elective Conference, the ANC has been condemned by a political party known as Embrace Diversity Movement (EDM) for not having Lesbian, Gay, Bisexuality, Transgender, Intersex, Queer plus (LGBTIQA+) on its NEC list.

The political party wrote a letter this week to the new elected ANC secretary-general, Fikile Mbalula, voicing its concern regarding the exclusion of LGBTIQ+ people from the ruling party’s NEC members.

The letter was written to Mbalula by EDM secretary-general, Duncan Swart, reads in part: “The LGBTIQ+ in the Mass Democratic Movement would like to express its disappointment at the outcomes of the election results of the African National Congress National Executive Committee additional members. This conference was meant to affirm and rubber-stamp the party’s commitment to inclusion and representation of Queer bodies in the ranks of the ANC. The collective is mostly concerned by the lack of political will by branches and, subsequently, delegates to the 55th Elective Conference recently held at Nasrec.”

Swart also added that his movement believes that the LGBTIQ+ “will remain on the sidelines and our struggle [will be] led and represented by those without our lived experiences.”

He said: “We view this lack of support as a deliberate erasure and marginalisation of the LGBTIQ+ voice in key decision-making. Thus a reflection of the endemic conservative and anti-Queer stance by those who were entrusted with the task to elect into the new NEC collective a cohort of experienced and diverse leaders to drive the renewal and rebuilding of our glorious movement. Cde Steve Letsike has dedicated her life not only to the advancement of marginalised communities, but has also played a central role in supporting this gigantic movement with her skills and expertise on the approach to safeguarding the community and its human rights, thus she is not a stranger to the work of the Mass Democratic Movement.

“As a world-renowned human rights advocate, she has advanced the Queer voice across the globe, highlighting the many challenges often overlooked by domestic governments on the protection of the rights of women, girls, LGBTIQ+ and other key population groups. Her loss in this race is indeed a reflection that we have been underestimated in the face of renewal and rebuilding of the organisation, it is a reminder that the LGBTIQ+ still has a mountain to climb until the day it shall find expression in the leadership of the congress movement.”

The movement has also made an appeal to the new NEC to setup an LGBTIQ+ desk under the office of the newly elected deputy secretary Nomvula Mokonyane, which will be a forum that will advance aerial issues when it comes to the representation of the LGBTIQ+ in among other policy discussions, organisational programmes and participation in the life of the organisation.

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