COLUMNIST and alleged gay-basher Jon Qwelane's reported appointment as ambassador to Uganda has been slammed by rights groups, writes Amukelani Chauke in The Times.

The Sunday Times reported that Qwelane, who was heavily criticised for his 2008 column, "Call me names, but gay is not okay!", would be appointed ambassador to Uganda next month but the government has yet to confirm the appointment.

This while Uganda faces mounting international pressure to drop its proposal to enact an anti-homosexuality bill.

Yesterday, on social networking website, Facebook, well-known Aids activist Zackie Achmat called for a public protest against Qwelane's appointment.

"Jon Qwelane is deeply homophobic and racist. Now, he has been appointed as SA ambassador to Uganda, where MPs seek the death penalty against [homosexual, bisexual, transgender and inter-sexed] people. Protest now. Call the department of international relations in Tshwane and Cape Town," he wrote.

And the DA said it was "deeply concerned" reports of Qwelane's appointment. The party said it would be seen as a "tacit endorsement of the repressive stance Uganda is taking on homosexuality".

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