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22/03/2018 14:43 SAST | Updated 22/03/2018 14:43 SAST

LGBTQI Flag Flies At Tshwane City Hall In Historic Human Rights First For SA

Queer rights are human rights.

GaySA Radio / Moude Maodi

In a historic first for South Africa, a group of activists demanding the prioritisation of LGBTQI+ rights in the country raised the gay flag at Tshwane City Hall on Human Rights Day.

The event, organised by the Democratic Alliance (DA) LGBTQI+ movement in collaboration with the City of Tshwane, was a call for the escalation of LGBTQI rights as a matter of national importance.

GaySA Radio / Moude Maodi

The DA shadow minister of police and Africa's first openly gay black MP, Zakhele Mbhele, said at the event that queer rights are not being handled as a priority, and that queer people continue to be treated unfairly at formal organisations such as home affairs, making particular mention of the country's transgender community.

"It is absolute nonsense that we ask for special rights. It is, however, not enough for rights to exist only on paper if it is not enforced," Mbhele said.

"If you are a victim of hate crime, you must have an effective police service that you can go to and open your case, and not be a victim of secondary victimisation where the police further harass you because you are gay, lesbian or transgender," he added.

Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga made history last year when he attended the city's Pride March in a rare show of solidarity from the mayoral office.