Former Ugandan ambassador and controversial columnist Jon Qwelane "directly contributed" to the formulation of anti-homosexuality laws in Uganda, the University of Pretoria’s Centre for Human Rights alleged on Tuesday.
Qwelane was appointed the ambassador to Uganda by President Jacob Zuma in 2010 following a column published in the Sunday Sun in 2008 titled 'Call me names, but gay is NOT okay'.
Uganda’s anti-homosexual laws were adopted after his arrival in the country, UP’s Centre for Human Rights said in a statement.
"In a perverse turn of events, he thus became a representative of a constitutionally democratic and liberal South Africa to a country that was just beginning to discuss the promulgation of an anti-gay law that initially at that time prescribed the death penalty for homosexuals.
"[His] utterances in writing can, therefore, be said to have directly contributed to the determination to make a law criminalising minority sexual and gender identities in that country."
The South Gauteng High Court on Friday ruled that Qwelane must unconditionally apologise to the LGBT+ community for his 2008 column wherein he praised Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe for his "unflinching and unapologetic stance" on homosexuality. Read more via News 24