12 October 2015
Press Statement from the Eastern Cape Gay And Lesbian Association submitted by Jade Williams
In South Africa's Nelson Mandela Bay area the Masincedane collective will once again make history when they hold the Northern Areas LGBTI Festival on the 31st October 2015. The event will be the 3rd LGBTI festival Masincedane has hosted in 2015. The 1st two LGBTI festivals were held in Zwide and KwaNobuhle. The event forms part of the collective’s ongoing campaign to highlight and address ‘Hate Crimes’ and includes a historic LGBTI march through the streets of Salsoneville, in the Northern Areas of Nelson Mandela Bay.
Masincedane is a collective of local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) organisations that collaborate on various events and campaigns in the Metro. Masincedane is made up of the following organisations: OUT!ology Network, ECGLA, Sibanye LGBTI, Manyano, Walmer LGBTI, Circle of Genders and Eloquor Knights.
The Northern Areas LGBTI Festival will be held at the La Dee Das Club in Salsoneville. The event is free, starts at 11 am and will continue until 5pm on the 31st October. The event includes talks and discussions relating to ‘Hate Crimes’, safety, support and other issues affecting LGBTI community members. Government departments and Human Rights based organisations will give brief talks around these issues and will inform attendees of services and programmes relating to the LGBTI community.
The Northern Areas LGBTI Festival will also include a number of live performances by talented LGBTI community members and our allies. The talks and the performances of dance, vocals and spoken word will be interspersed with DJs playing music throughout the day. The historic, “One Love March” to highlight ‘Hate Crimes’ will start outside La Dee Das at 2:30pm. 200 marchers are expected to hit the streets in a burst of song, colour and exuberance to promote love and diversity.
The Masincedane collective holds these events directly in communities, in order to make LGBTI related events more accessible to the LGBTI community in Nelson Mandela Metro, especially for those living in township areas.
In recent years in South Africa, there have been a number of violent crimes perpetrated against LGBTI people, targeted because of their sexual orientation or gender expression. Most of these ‘Hate Crimes’ have been perpetrated against members of the LGBTI community living in townships. The struggle to end violence and discrimination against the LGBTI community is an ongoing issue in South Africa.
In September last year a young, gay man was found lying dead in the streets of Booysens Park, allegedly raped and murdered. In January 2012, four men assaulted and robbed a Lesbian in Kwazakhele and two of the men brutally raped her. Two of the men have been convicted of the brutal rape whilst the co-accused were found guilty of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and of theft. In August, the men convicted of rape and assault were sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.
Although ‘Hate Crime’ is not yet legislated in South Africa, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has largely finalised The Policy Framework on Combating Hate Crimes, Hate Speech and Unfair Discrimination. Hate crimes are defined as crimes motivated by prejudice, or crimes that are based on discrimination and perpetrated against an individual or a group of people because of their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, nationality and such like.
All are welcome to join us at the Northern Areas LGBTI Festival to highlight and address Hate Crimes. The Northern Areas LGBTI Festival is free and open to the public. OUT!ology Network is the host organizing team of the Northern Areas LGBTI Festival 2015 with Director and Founder of OUT!ology, Mr Alain Redcliffe as the main organiser.