Mamphela Ramphele, leader of South Africa’s newest political party, Agang (Sotho for ‘Build’), stated she fully backs LGBT rights and is dedicated to fight homophobia.
Ramphele, a revered anti apartheid activist, announced last week (18 February) on the formation of a new political party and called upon South Africans to ‘join me on a journey to build the country of our dreams’.
In an interview on Sunday (24 February) to the daily City News, she made her views on LGBT rights very clear.
Responding to a question by an journalist on her views about homophobia and anti-gay violence she said: ‘That we have homophobia today is a disgrace.
‘We have a formal system that protects everybody to be able to express themselves.
‘But again we haven’t educated people to understand that being orientated sexually in a particular way is not a crime, is not a disease; it’s not something you can cure.
‘It is how God created us’.
Ramphele, a 65 year-old medical doctor, was an anti-apartheid activist and a leader of the Black Consciousness Movement, that focused on social activism and business.
Until two weeks, she served as the chairwoman of Gold Fields, a major mining company.
In her speech launching Agang, she said that the party intends to revive the South African dream of ‘a prosperous constitutional democracy united in its diversity’.
She’s also been a vocal critic of the ruling ANC party which she said has become corrupt and complacent with the country’s problems.