Xingwana calls for tolerance

Lulu Xingwana has urged society to be more understanding when dealing with people with Down syndrome.

Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana. Picture: Giovanna Gerbi/EWN

CAPE TOWN - South Africans need to be more tolerant to those with Down syndrome, Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the 11th World Down Syndrome Congress at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, she said people often stare and mock those who look different.

Xingwana added that Down syndrome children are often hidden from the public, as mothers are too afraid to take them out for fear of being ridiculed.

Mavis Buya travelled all the way from a village outside East London to attend the congress.

She has a 16-year-old Down syndrome daughter.

Buya said her husband left her when the baby was three-months-old as he could not cope with having a child who was different.