Freedom Day: Ramaphosa shines the spotlight on attacks on LGBTQ+ community

Ramaphosa used the Freedom Day celebrations platform in Botshabelo, in the Free State, on Tuesday to rally the nation against the crimes - which have claimed several lives across the country.

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the keynote address at the Bergville Municipal Sports Complex in KwaZulu-Natal on Reconciliation Day 2019. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on South Africans to say no to homophobia in the wake of attacks including murder against members of the LGBTQ+ plus community.

Ramaphosa used the Freedom Day celebrations platform in Botshabelo, in the Free State, on Tuesday to rally the nation against the crimes - which have claimed several lives across the country.

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He said the nation should be ashamed of the crimes being perpetuated against queer people.

“I want to send a strong message that hate crime will not be tolerated in our society and that those who are behind these crimes will be found and brought to book. Nobody has the right to take the life of and abuse someone else because of their sexual orientation. No one has that right at all.”

READ: Brutal murder of Durban gay man leaves LGBTQ+ community living in fear

Equally so, he shone the spotlight on continued violence and murder of women and children.

The country is marking Freedom Day, which signifies the day South Africans of all races took to the polls on 27 April in 1994 ushering in the democratic dispensation.

UNITY

The president has called on South Africans to hold onto unity as they confront many challenges.

Emphasising the gains of freedom, including the end of racial segregation, Ramaphosa said South Africans should celebrate the country’s diversity.

Yet he acknowledged that after 27 years of freedom, the country is still striving to be a South Africa that belongs to all who live in it.

“When we voted for the first time on this day 27 years ago, we closed the chapter of the horror story of apartheid.”

Ramaphosa insisted that the challenges are not insurmountable as none is too great that it cannot be overcome.

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