Dear South Africa, we need to talk.
Most of us know that the 27th of April, our Freedom Day, signifies the end of an oppressive era. Our country boasts a strong constitution, and is one of the most developed countries in Africa. On this day we celebrate our constitutional democracy and all the benefits that it has brought to us. Yet, how many of us are actually free? Read more...
FAKE NEWS ALERT:
Death of a lesbian in Mamelodi not verified
10 April 2018, South Africa
It has come to our attention that a story has been circulating on social media and some local radio stations, alleging that a lesbian woman was raped multiple times, and later died, after being put into a cell with 19 men at the Mamelodi Police Station in Gauteng.
The Film and Publications Board, Traditional Leaders and the CRL must be held accountable
1 March 2018, South Africa
We have come together as a consortium of activists and members of civil society to express our concerns that the FPB and the CRL have disregarded the principles enshrined in South Africa’s constitution in its decision to rate the film, Inxeba – The Wound, as X18, the same rating given to explicitly pornographic media. We believe this to be a violation of freedom of expression and amounts to a form of homophobic censorship that has no place in a progressive and free society. Read more…
2017 South Africa
National Intersex Meeting Announcement
11 December 2017, South Africa
On Monday 11 December 2017 Iranti, in partnership with Intersex South Africa (ISSA), the Foundation for Human Rights (FHR) and the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DOJ), will host a National Engagement on the Promotion and Protection of the Human Rights of intersex persons. Read the full press release here.
Dozens arrested in Egypt in wave of homophobic sentiment
11 October 2017, South Africa
Iranti has recently been made aware of the dire situation in Egypt whereby more than 50 persons have been arrested after a “rainbow flag” was proudly displayed at a concert in Cairo last month. Egyptian authorities have no legal basis for the arrests by the laws of their own country, but despite this, homophobic sentiment remains high. We intend to work closely with our comrades and allies in Egypt, as well as those elsewhere on the continent, to remedy this injustice. Read more...
Five year anniversary. Seven days to go!
South Africa, 21 September 2017
Iranti is proud to announce that it will be celebrating five years of activism and advocacy in the name of lesbian, transgender and intersex Africans; monitoring the lived experiences of queer communities across South Africa and the rest of the continent, and recording their stories. Iranti means memory, and just as we have worked toward recording the memory of our region’s forgotten people, so too do we now invite you to remember our own history with us. Read more…
Press statement on IDAHOT 2017
South Africa, 17 May 2017
Today marks once more the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), where we commemorate the trials and triumphs made in the fight for queer rights across the planet. The theme for 2017 is ‘family’. As activists and members of the LGBTI community, the day is a sad reminder of the ever-present nature of homophobia and transphobia in our country and across the world. Many of us have lost family members and loved-ones to violence and discrimination, and many tight-knit communities have been shaken by violence in recent months.
Iranti congratulates Broden Giambrone, who led the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) for six years; and Kim Mukasa, co-founder of Trans Network Uganda, on their appointment to the International Trans Fund team, as inaugural staff members. Read more...
A response to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
By Iranti, South Africa, 13 March 2017
Iranti is disappointed to hear such language from a respected African author who has a body of work dedicated to decolonisation through storytelling. Such language is reductionist, cissexist, and contributes toward the ongoing marginalisation of transgender women across the world. Read more...
Eviction of a transgender woman from a Johannesburg shelter
By Iranti, South Africa, 23 February 2017
A victim of sexual violence was allegedly evicted from a women's shelter in Braamfontein, due to her identity as a transgender woman. The woman was provided with no safe alternative accommodation within the Johannesburg area. Read more...
Iranti calls for increased Public Engagement on the Hate Crimes Bill
By Iranti, South Africa, 24 January 2017
In October 2016, the draft Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill was introduced into the public domain. Differing significantly from previous criminal legislation, the Bill makes provisions for the prosecution of both hate crimes and hate speech.
The Board and staff of Iranti wish all our partners a very successful 2017. May our joint efforts continue to deliver services that impact positively on the lives of LGBTIQ people across the continent. Emilia Potenza Iranti Board Chairperson
NEWS RELEASE FROM THE SOUTHERN AFRICA LITIGATION CENTRE
Botswana Registrar Agrees to Change Gender Marker from Female to Male
On 4 December 2017, the Registrar of National Registration of Botswana in the case of ND v Attorney General of Botswana and others agreed to issue the applicant with a new identity document that reflects his male gender identity on or before Monday, 18 December 2017.
GALZ statement on the resignation of Robert Mubabe
Zimbabwe has come so far in its quest to return to constitutionalism. The generality of Zimbabweans still suffer the basic humiliations of oppressive laws, social stigma and propaganda spewed out by our national and religious leaders. Never again should citizens live in fear and be treated as second class in their own country. A new democratic Zimbabwe requires a new way of doing things, which does not repeat the intolerance and discriminatory politics of Robert Mugabe. Read more...
ISLA and CHESA joint statement on that status of the Tanzania 13, 26/10/2017
It will be recalled that a legal consultation convened by the Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA) and Community Health Education Services and Advocacy (CHESA) was raided by Tanzanian police on Tuesday 17 October 2017. The consultation was convened in order to get more instructions and evidence on a case that was planned to be filed before a court. The case concerns a challenge to government’s decision to limit the provision of certain health services that it had previously provided. Thirteen people were arrested and by Wednesday 18 October 2017, all were granted bail. On Friday 20 October 2017, bail was revoked without explanation and they were placed in police custody. To date, no charges have been brought. In the circumstances, they are being arbitrarily detained. Read more...
Kenya Institutes Intersex-Rights Task Force
Kenya, 5 June 2017
The prospects of protection and recognition for intersex persons are looking bright as the national publication, The Kenya Gazette, publically announced the formation of a taskforce looking into intersex rights abuses in that country. Read more…
Statement on the International Day of Action for Trans Depathologization 2017
21 October 2017, Global
This year, the International Day of Action for Trans Depathologization has a particular relevance for all our communities around the world: the largely due process of revision and reform of the tenth version of International Classification of Diseases will be completed next year. We expect the World Health Assembly to pass a new ICD (called ICD-11) in June 2018. Read more...
International Human Rights Day
10 December 2016, Global
On International Human Rights Day Iranti says let us celebrate human rights for all - 10 December 2016. Watch
2016 BOTSWANA's LEGABIBO
Gender-marker change victory in Botswana!
Botswana, 29 September 2017
Iranti would like to formally congratulate the Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC) and all involved in a recent case in Botswana, where a transgender man has been granted the right to change the gender-marker on his identity documents from ‘female’ to ‘male’. To read SALC’s full statement, click here.
Pastor Steven Anderson deported from Botswana
20 September 2016, Botswana
The Lesbians Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO) and Reverend Dumi Mmualefe submitted a petition with 2317 signatures to the Botswana Government to prevent Anderson from starting a church in the country. After a hate speech utterance by Anderson, the Botswana Government declared him a prohibited immigrant. Read more…
2016 South Africa
SOWETO PRIDE: COERCED POSTPONEMENT BY THE STATE
South Africa, 21 September 2016
It is with great regret that we, the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW), announce the postponement of Soweto Pride 2016. The postponement is a result of being bullied by state entities who seem intent on stemming out and discouraging all forms of political protest. Read the full press statement…
Justice for Lesley Makousa
15 August 2016, South Africa
On Saturday the 6 August 2016, the police found the deserted body of 17 year old Lesley Makousa in a nearby field of Promosa, in the North West. Iranti attended Lesley’s memorial service which was hosted by Promosa Secondary School. Read more…
Press Release - The Urology Hospital in Pretoria operates in violation of human rights norms
8 July 2016, South Africa
Many individuals with hypospadias do not experience the functional and/or psychosocial difficulties commonly attributed to it by the medical sector, nor desire surgery for it. In addition, hypospadias surgery carries a substantial risk of significantly poor cosmetic and functional outcomes, negatively impacting sexual and reproductive health. Dr Kabo Ijane describes even mild these instances in pathologisting terms, referring to healthy manifestations of bodily diversity as “abnormal”. We condemn the approach described by Dr Ijane and call on the Urology Hospital in Pretoria to set a precedent and meet with civil society to develop guidelines. Read more…
Ugandan Police Attack on Lawful LGBTI Pride Celebration
5 August 2016, Uganda
Civil Society, Human Rights Activists Condemn Ugandan Police Attack on Lawful LGBTI Pride Celebration. On 4 August, pride celebrations were brutally and unlawfully raided by the Ugandan police, starting at approximately 11:30 pm. Police claimed they had been told a “gay wedding” was taking place. The police locked the gates of the club, arrested more than 16 people and detained hundreds more for 90 minutes. Read more…
REPORT: AND THAT’S HOW I SURVIVED
21 April 2016, Uganda
In January, 2015 Daniel, a 22-year-old living in Ntungamo in Western Uganda, was arrested for “engaging in crimes against the order of nature.” We spoke to him in May after he was released from prison. Struggling to find words, he told us what happened. Read more...
2016 United Nations
SOGI VICTORY at the United Nations
30 June 2016, Geneva
United Nations Makes History on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity by establishing an Independent Expert. It is a historic victory for the human rights of all persons who are at risk of discrimination and violence because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, 28 human rights groups said today. “It is important to note that around 70% of the organizations are from the global south,” said Yahia Zaidi of MantiQitna Network. “This is a powerful cross regional message of strength to the United Nations to protect the rights of LGBTI persons.” Read more…
2016 African Commission
African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR)
SA Government Silent on Transgender and Intersex Rights
South Africa, 11 April 2016
Today, the South African (SA) government presented its state report to the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) during the latter’s 58th Ordinary Session in Banjul, the Gambia, 6-20 April 2016. We noted with concern that the SA State report neglected to address widespread human rights challenges faced by transgender and intersex persons in South Africa. It merely contains a brief section on “Sexual orientation and gender identity”, but the focus is on sexual orientation, same-sex marriage and homophobia, and refers primarily to gays and lesbians. Read more...
2016 Media and Politicians fail LGBTI
Weekly LGBTI harassment and murder
The silence is deafening: Increasing violence on LGBTI Youth in South African Townships
South Africa, 1 April 2016
Leverne Cox believes “Justice is what love looks like in public.” And yet almost on a weekly basis Iranti deals with yet another LGBTI young person who has been either expelled from school or worse; brutally murdered. There is a deafening silence on main stream media and by our politicians. Read more...
2016 LEGABIBO registration
Court of Appeal Judgment Press Statement - #LEGABIBOregistration 14 and 16 March - pre-judgement events
News Release from the Southern Africa Litigation Centre Botswana, 16 March 2016
Ground-breaking Judgment by Botswana Court of Appeal on Freedom of Association and LGBTI Rights. A full bench of the Court of Appeal of Botswana ordered the Botswana government to register the organisation Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO).
Training for African LGBTI Activists on the African Human Rights Mechanisms DEADLINE 28 Aug 2017. Read more...
2015 Thembelihle Sokhela murder
Sokhela's rapist and murderer sentenced to 22 years
On 30 July 2015 at the Pretoria North District Court, Judge Mokgosi handed a sentence of 22 years to Thabo Molefe for raping and murdering Tembelihle “Lihle” Sokhela. Read the press release... or see pictures of the protesters and supporters of Thembelihle Sokela
Thembelihle Sokhela's murder finally goes to High Court
South Africa, 22 July 2015
The trial of Thembelihle Sokhela, a lesbian woman from Daveyton, finally goes to the Pretoria High Court. The case of Thembelihle’s murder will commence at the Pretoria High Court from Monday 27 to Friday 31 July. Thembelihle Sokhela, a 28-year old lesbian woman from Daveyton was murdered on 14 September 2014. She was found wrapped in a blanket and thrown behind her perpetrator’s bed. Read more...
Sloppy work by SAPS delays Thembelihle Sokhela’s case
South Africa, 16 January 2015
The police have also been slack in the gathering vital evidence, leaving beind the victim’s clothes, her underwear and the blanket that wrapped her body at the scene of the crime. We call upon all civil society organisations to join Iranti on 4 February when another mass action will be organised. Download the full second press statement.
Click on this image to go to the gallery.
Thembelihle Sokhela’s case returns to the Benoni Magistrate’s Court
Johannesburg, 12 January 2015
On Tuesday 13 January 2015 at 09h00, Thembelihle Sokhela’s case returns to the Benoni Magistrate’s Court, after being postponed on at least five occasions. The court is located at 29 Harpur Avenue, Benoni.
Thembelihle, a 28-year old lesbian woman from Daveyton was murdered on 14 September 2014. She was found wrapped in a blanket and thrown behind her perpetrator’s bed. Download the full first press statement.
2015 Disebo Gift Makau murder
Disebo Makau's alledged perpetrator goes to trial
South Africa, 13 May 2015
Pule Stoffel Botlhokwane, Disebo Makau's alleged perpetrator goes for trial at the Klerksdorp High Court from 18-22 May 2015. Read the press release.
2014 TDOR Report
Transgender Day of Remembrance 2014
South Africa, 17 February 2015
TDOR Report - To commemorate the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) 2014, Iranti and Transgender Intersex Africa (TIA) hosted a Social Dialogue on Transgender Learners in South African schools on 20 November 2014 at Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg. Click here for the activity report.
2014 New York Quorum
Jabu Pereira from Iranti to speak with other global
leading LGBT activists in New York on 10 December
New York, 4 December 2014
"Quorum: Global LGBT Voices" at the New York Public Library, featuring talks and panels highlighting the struggles and triumphs of LGBT people worldwide.
The Daily Beast, in collaboration with nine leading international human rights organisations, will host an unprecedented gathering of leading LGBT activists from around the world.
The event, entitled "Quorum: Global LGBT Voices," will take place at the New York Public Library on Wednesday, December 10, designated Human Rights Day by the United Nations. Download the full press statement.
2014 Johannesburg People's Pride
Statement on the position of JPP
South Africa, 7 November 2014
All decisions are made by full consensus, all ideas are debated and discussed with equal measure, all our short-falls are exposed, accounted for, and ways forward that are responsive to these are proposed and decided on by all of us who form the collective and who are committed to making the space work. In the last year we have struggled with capacity and have therefore fallen short as your committee to these ideals. Read the full press statement...
2014 Nadia Swanepoel Hunger Strike
Nadia Swanepoel's hunger strike delivered justice
South Africa, 12 October 2014
Gender DynamiX, Iranti, S.H.E. and TIA are elated that Nadia’s name and gender identity have been changed in the population register. She has been assured that she will receive a temporary ID on 13 October at Home Affairs. They have also amended her marital status from civil union to a heterosexual identified marriage according to the Marriage Act. Read the press statement
Transwoman goes on hunger strike as Home Affairs fails her
South Africa, 9 October 2014
Nadia Swanepoel started trying to change her gender and name according to the Alteration of Sex Description and Sex Status Act 49 of 2003 (Act 49) three years ago. Because of the endemic discrimination inherent within the administrative process at Home Affairs; Nadia has not received a new identity document reflecting her new name and gender identity. Home Affairs has lost her application documents several times which has required her to reapply for the same process.
Read the press statement by Gender DynamiX. Read the full press statement
2014 Murder of Gift Makau
Ventersdorp Community Dialogue
Press release 3 October 2014, South Africa
Community Social Dialogue in Ventersdorp about Gift Makau on Sun 5 Oct at Tshing location, Ext 2 Community Hall, from 1200.
Today, 26 August 2014, SA along with 24 other states voted in favour of the resolution. The resolution calls on the UN High Commissoner on Human Rights to update the report on violence based on SOGI and to report on good practice. Mr President, on behalf of the Republic of South Africa, by H.E. Abdul Samad Minty, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations and other International Organisations at Geneva...I thank you.
The United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on combatting violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (L.27/Rev.1), adopted today, Is a critically important achievement for upholding the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 25 human rights groups said today. The resolution follows a resolution adopted three years ago in June 2011, when the Council passed the first ever UN resolution on human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
As we celebrate Heritage Day in South Africa, we call on the South African government to vote YES at the 27th session of the UN Human Rights Council on the SOGI Resolution. Violence and hatred towards LGBTI persons across the world is growing and this leads to many reports and unreported deaths. Often these attacks are carried out with impunity by political leaders, the police and civilians. A plea from Iranti, HURISA, FEW, CAL, Pan African ILGA, TIA, FHR, OSF, GALA, Gay and Lesbian Network, Legal Resources Centre, Equal Education Law Centre, Ndifuna Ukwazi, Gender Dynamix, Southern African Litigation Centre and WISH Associates call on Minister Maite Nkoana-‐Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation; Minister Michael Masutha, Minister of Justice and Correctional Services; Minister Bathabile Dlamini, Minister of Social Development; and Ambassador Abdul Minty, Permanent Representative of South Africa, DemandAccountabilitySA, Sonke Gender Justice
Press release 11 June 2014, South Africa
A needs assessment report by Transgender and Intersex Africa (TIA) has indicated that among a sample of 500 transgender people, 32% do not have a matric certificate. Most of them dropped out of school before grade 12 because of bullying.
2014 GALZ press statement on Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa's remarks
Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa’s statements as reported in the Sunday Mail, 30 March 2014 perpetuate hate and wrong perceptions about LGBTI people. Manipulating the authority of the church tofight political battles is the most blatant sin and that he prays for a day when the question of one’s sexuality will become irrelevant and discrimination against lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender people will be relegated to the same heap containing slavery, racism (including anti-Semitism), sexism and discrimination against socially marginalized groups and people.
"Beyond the usual challenges that any organization might face in raising money, trans* and intersex groups are particularly left adrift by the fact that few funders understand the nuances of their work or include trans* or intersex people in their giving priorities."
"We would like to first of all thank the Ministry of Social Justice Empowerment for taking up the issue of trans people in the country. We would also like to appreciate the steps taken by the ministry to address the concerns of our trans communities."
"We condemn the arrest of Ricky Nathanson, a transgender person, who remained in police custody for two days. The premise of the arrest was that Ricky had used the ‘Ladies’ toilet. Can it possibly be justified to arrest someone for such a reason under the new Constitution when no offence exists and when no harm occurred?"
“I urge our leaders to draw from the lessons of the past, but also to heed current realities. And to look ahead to what the future is calling forth – because this new development agenda will affect the lives of millions of our people at a very critical time for Africa.
I encourage leaders to take a strong stand for fundamental human rights, and advance the trajectory for basic freedoms.
This means pushing for three priorities that lie at the heart of sustainable development: the empowerment of women and gender equality; the rights and empowerment of adolescents and youth; and the sexual and reproductive health and rights of all people."
“Even before this Act was signed into law, consensual same sex relationships were already criminalized in Nigeria – violating rights to privacy and to freedom from discrimination, both of which are protected by the Nigerian Constitution, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Nigeria has ratified,” the High Commissioner said.
On International Human Rights Day Iranti says let us celebrate human rights for all - 10 December 2016.
SOGI VICTORY at the United Nations
30 June 2016, Geneva
United Nations Makes History on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity by establishing an Independent Expert. It is a historic victory for the human rights of all persons who are at risk of discrimination and violence because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, 28 human rights groups said today. “It is important to note that around 70% of the organizations are from the global south,” said Yahia Zaidi of MantiQitna Network. “This is a powerful cross regional message of strength to the United Nations to protect the rights of LGBTI persons.” Read more...
Nigerian Anti-Same-Sex marriage bill 2014
An Open Letter to Africa's Leaders - Joaquim Chissano, former President of Mozambique
15 January 2014, Mozambique.
I urge our leaders to draw from the lessons of the past, but also to heed current realities. And to look ahead to what the future is calling forth – because this new development agenda will affect the lives of millions of our people at a very critical time for Africa.
I encourage leaders to take a strong stand for fundamental human rights, and advance the trajectory for basic freedoms.
This means pushing for three priorities that lie at the heart of sustainable development: the empowerment of women and gender equality; the rights and empowerment of adolescents and youth; and the sexual and reproductive health and rights of all people.