News / South Africa

Virginia Keppler
1 minute read
21 Mar 2018
10:57 am

Gay flag rises at Tshwane City Hall

Virginia Keppler

For the first time ever, the gay flag was raised at the Tshwane City Hall on Human Rights day.

Members and supporters of the LGBTQ communities are seen gathered outside the Pretoria City Hall where for the first time ever the Pride flag was raised along with the South African flag, 21 March 2018, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

DA Shadow Minister of Police Zakhele Mbhele, who is the first openly gay member of Parliament, said LGBTI rights are Human Rights.
“It is absolute nonsense that we ask for special rights. It is however, not enough for rights to exist only on paper if it is not enforced,” Mbhele said.
Various representatives from the LGBT community were present to witness this special occasion. The DA Youth was present in their numbers.
Mbhele said many case by the LGBTI people are not handled as priority. He said they are still facing tremendous challenges at home affairs when it comes to transgender people.
Hendrik Baird, the station manager of GaySA Radio, Africa’only online LGBTI radio station, said he wanted to celebrate brave people who did not keep quiet and who spoke up and said things needed to change.
“My personal hero is a man called Simon Nkoli who was instrumental in organising the first pride march… A man who bravely fought for change and whom we must forever honour as the architect of our Freedom,” Baird said.
And as the LGBTI flag was raised together with the South African flag, there were cheers all around.
“Raising that flag touched me. It is really awesome. Today is a historic event,” Wayne Helfrich said.
“Not everybody here is from the LGBTI community, but we don’t judge you. We appreciate your support,” Helfrich said.

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