DA’s Pappas dismisses homophobic comments amid campaign to be next KZN Premier

The premier hopeful has faced homophobic comments made against him since the announcement of his candidature, including from the KwaZulu-Natal ANCYL and former DA MP Graham McIntosh.

FILE: The premier hopeful said he felt protected by his party. Picture: Jacques Nelles/Eyewitness News

DURBAN - The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Christopher Pappas has shrugged off homophobic comments made about him as he campaigned to become the next Premier of KwaZulu-Natal.

Pappas has faced relentless homophobic comments since the announcement of his candidacy.

In a recent protest by the KwaZulu-Natal African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) against the premier hopeful, its members carried homophobic posters as they chanted and made discriminatory remarks.

Meanwhile, in his own party, former DA Member of Parliament (MP) and long-serving member Graham McIntosh resigned, expressing disappointment with the party for choosing a gay man to represent it in KwaZulu-Natal.

READ: ‘Enough is enough’: Premier hopeful Pappas wants to restore KZN to former glory

In his resignation letter from the DA, McIntosh said Pappas’ sexual orientation would turn black voters in rural KwaZulu-Natal away.

Pappas said McIntosh’s comments were condescending to the black electorate and not true, since he won the mayorship in Umgeni - a predominantly black town.

The premier hopeful said he felt protected by his party.

“I think the reality is in KwaZulu-Natal, there are so many differences in people. Whether it is religious, intricate culture issues, sexuality issues, KwaZulu-Natal is a lot more tolerant of individual difference."

The DA during its April Federal Congress resolved to offer sensitivity training for its members on issues relating to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer ( LGBTQI+) community.