Steenhuisen backs LGBTQIA+ community’s call for Parly to pass Hate Crimes Bill

Since 2018, the draft bill has been in and out of the legislature and another round of public comments was held at the end of last year.

Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen. Picture: @Our_DA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - There've been renewed calls on the judiciary and Parliament to urgently pass the Hate Crimes Bill.

Since 2018, the draft bill has been in and out of the legislature and another round of public comments was held at the end of last year.

DA leader John Steenhuisen was in Cape Town over the weekend to join hundreds of LGBTQIA+ people at the annual pride parade.

Steenhuisen said he wanted to see more political leaders showing their support for the queer community.

“It is very important that leaders lead the way in terms of speaking out against hate crimes and against the oppression of the individual rights of ordinary South Africans, regardless of what community they are from. The LGBTQIA+ is an important constituency for the DA and I think that we have got to practice tolerance, respect and promotion of the rights of others.”

Together with various NGOs and civil society groups, Steenhuisen is calling for the Hate Crimes Bill to be finalised and adopted.

“It’s more than the finalisation of the bill, it’s about adopting the culture of enforcement of it as well. We can have all the best laws in the country, but if you don’t have a police service that’s sensitised to these issues, if you don’t have a proper prosecutorial ability, it’s going to hamper whatever you try to do.”