27 November 2015
South Africans in general know that it is the lack of rainfall that led to the drought that has stricken the country in the past few months. However, in the province of KwaZulu Natal, a local clergyman going by the title of Shembe church leader of the Ebuhleni faction, Mduduzi Shembe (pictured), apparently did not know and took an uneducated guess. As can be expected, he came up with the wrong answer.
According to local newspaper, The Mercury, Shembe claimed gay people was responsible for the drought that has been crippling KwaZulu-Natal, in a speach he gave at a local event at the Enyokeni Palace last weekend. Shembe further said the drought was an act of vengeance from God because people had “defiled” him. He said men marrying men was an act of defiance.
His speech was met with anger from the gay and lesbian community, labeling his remarks as “inflammatory”, while the provincial government said the remarks were unfortunate and unacceptable.
South Africa's official opposition party, The Democratic Alliance, say they are “dismayed" at the alleged remarks made by the Shembe Church leader, Mduduzi Shembe.
DA provincial leader Zwakele Mncwango said the remarks were "outrageous" and also "inflammatory".
“In a society that respects and obeys the leader’s orders, it is rather disturbing when a leader makes such remarks. This automatically puts every gay person in danger to be attacked for ‘causing drought’ in the province.”
Mncwango called on the Shembe church members to “come out strongly against their leader’s utterances and distance themselves from such remarks”.
He added that Section 9 (3) of South Africa's Constitution prohibited unfair discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.
“The remark smacks all the efforts that have been made to end the discrimination of people according to their sexual orientation."
The Shembe church has since reportedly denied that its leader made the statements.