CAPE TOWN – Deputy President Paul Mashatile said government does not agree with Uganda’s anti-gay stance, but it can’t impose its views on other countries.
Answering questions in the National Assembly (NA) on Thursday, Mashatile said he would attempt to persuade Uganda to back down from tightening legislation that outlaws same-sex relations.
In April, Uganda passed a new bill on top of existing legislation that outlawed same-sex relations and made it a criminal offence to identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and more.
Mashatile was asked by GOOD member of Parliament Brett Herron whether he intended to lead a peace mission to Uganda.
Mashatile cited this as a major concern for government: “I think we must be realistic that when we accept that the principles must be universal. We can’t just impose them on other countries.”
He said government will use multi-lateral platforms to persuade Uganda and the numerous other African nations that criminalise same-sex activity.
“The issue of sovereignty can’t be undermined. I can’t just walk into Uganda and say, ‘you shall do this’. But the point I’m making is that we will persuade them. We will engage with them because that’s the right way.”
Mashatile said government would continue to campaign for the progressive human rights that it prides itself in.