Following the refusal of the deputy president David Mabuza to use the parliamentary platform to condemn attacks and human rights abuses levelled against members of the LGBTQI+ community across Africa. The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance on Friday asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to rebuke Mabuza.

The nations constitution outlaws discrimination based on sexual orientation; meanwhile, the country was fifth country in the world and remains the only one in Africa to legalise same-sex marriage.

On the contrary, homosexuality remains illegal in African countries such as neighbouring Zimbabwe and Uganda, where the government has however denied planning to impose the death penalty for gay sex.

In response to a question from a DA legislator during a session in the National Council of Provinces about whether he would take a stand to condemn the abuses, Mabuza’s answer was: “Let’s be decent and keep our mouths shut.”

John Steenhuisen, DA parliamentary leader said in a statement that the response smacked of cowardice. He said “It cannot be this government’s stance to keep quiet in the face of an assault on the rights of fellow Africans,” he said, adding that Mabuza had violated one of the responsibilities assigned to the deputy president, namely to assist the president in efforts towards building a better Africa.

He also said “It appears that Mabuza has chosen to “keep his mouth shut” instead of performing his responsibility,” said Steenhuisen.

Steenhuisen continued that “Therefore, I call on President Cyril Ramaphosa to strongly rebuke Deputy President Mabuza’s remarks and blatant refusal to condemn these actions, and to break this government’s silence by taking a strong public stance against the attack on LGBTQI+ Africans in many countries on the continent.”