The spokesperson for the Gauteng Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Castro Ngobese, has been requested to write a formal letter explaining his tweet on the LGBTQI+ community.
Ngobese retweeted an article titled: “Four gay men have been murdered in South Africa in less than a month.”
He then responded with a fist emoji, saying, “Aluta Continua [the struggle continues].”
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Lebogang Maile released a statement on Thursday, saying following Ngobese’s “unfortunate and inappropriate tweet”, the department had taken steps to address the matter and “have requested that he writes a formal letter explaining himself”.
Castro what exactly were u trying to say? What does the first stand for? And how should the struggle continue? You are in a communication portfolio MEC @LebogangMaile1’s office by now it should be clear how you communicate on social media. pic.twitter.com/w4dA03QLhB
— PennyLebyane????TheOneAndOnly (@PennyLebyane) April 22, 2021
“In light of the recent killings of four LGBTQIA+ community members and the seriousness with which we must tackle homophobia, we don’t take this matter lightly and want to assure the public that we will take concomitant measures,” Maile said.
“The Gauteng provincial government has been at the forefront of the struggle towards greater inclusivity and championing the socio-economic struggle of the LGBTQIA+ community and can never associate itself with any actions or sentiments which are homophobic and derogatory towards any members of society.”
Ngobese told News24 he would “comply with the directives of the MEC”.
“I don’t think I should comment further on this matter.”
Earlier in a tweet, he said his tweet was “misconstrued as if I am homophobic”, adding he supported the struggles of the LGBTIQIA+ community.
The tweet read: “I retweeted an article ‘Four gay men have been murdered in South Africa in less than a month’. Tweet has been misconstrued as if am homophobic. I despise homophobia with all my Red heart. I fully support struggles of LGBTQI. Hence [the] tag ‘the struggle continues’ for a safer society for all.”