Sunday Sun columnist Jon Qwelane will soon appear before the Equality Court about an allegedly homophobic column he wrote in July, writes Kashiefa Ajam in the Cape Argus.


The SA Human Rights Commission announced its decision after press ombudsman Joe Thloloe completed his investigation that found that, though the columnist was not guilty of hate speech, he had "fallen foul of the Press Code".

Neither Thloloe's office nor the commission has received as many complaints as they did over the controversial column titled: "Call me names, but gay is NOT okay."

Thloloe's office received more than 1000 complaints, the commission more than 300.

In his July 20 column, Qwelane wrote: "The real problem, as I see it, is the rapid degradation of values and traditions by the so-called liberal influences of nowadays; you regularly see men kissing other men in public, walking holding hands and shamelessly flaunting what are misleadingly termed their 'lifestyle' and 'sexual preferences'.

"There could be a few things I could take issue about with Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, but his unflinching and unapologetic stance over homosexuals is definitely not among them."

The Sunday Sun attracted widespread condemnation with activists labelling the column "irresponsible" and "inflammatory".

Qwelane further wrote: "Please tell the Human Rights Commission that I totally refuse to withdraw or apologise for my views. I will write no letters to the commission either, explaining my thoughts."

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