Posted by: Gay, lesbian and bisexual expert | 2008/07/22

Item on Mamba, re the Sunday Sun

Hi everyone -

Following a particularly disturbing article that appeared on page 14 on the Sunday Sun, 20 July, expressing blatantly raw homoprejudice and homophobia, please see an item posted on Mamba (follow the link above). You can also view the article in question via Mamba.

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageGay, lesbian and bisexual expert

Hi everyone -

This past weekend we witnessed a travesty: a national publication chose to publish an unashamedly prejudiced article, by a recognised journalist, which undermined the Constitution and expressed raw homophobia and prejudice. Following is a copy of my email to the editor of the Sunday Sun. I encourage you to view the related article on mambaonline, which also provides a link to the article under discussion. We await the editor of the Sunday Sun joining our debate:

"Greetings, Editor of the Sunday Sun.

I write as a proudly gay man to object to an article you featured on page 14 of the Sunday Sun, on 20 July 2008. The article in question was penned by John Qwelane.

As a gay rights activist and the resident gay and lesbian expert on Media24's website,, I speak for many when I express my dismay at your publication of such blatant homoprejudice and hate speech. Your website states that your publication upholds the Constitution but you are clearly unfamiliar with the Bill of Rights, which prohibits prejudice on the grounds of sexual orientation.

I have made repeated calls to your office today to discuss this with you - I was told that you were out on lunch and subsequently, that you were visiting your doctor.

I have lodged a formal complaint against your publication with the Press Ombudsman.

I hereby invite you to substantiate your publication of the article in question by joining the debate on the "gay, lesbian and bisexual forum" on the website, - simply click on "experts" and then choose the "gay, lesbian and bisexual forum". We'd like to know your bizarre reasons for deciding to publish hate speech.

Glenn de Swardt"

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: jcat | 2008/07/23

complaint to the press ombusman 23/07.

I would like to lodge a complaint against Jon Qwelane' s disgusting column in the Sunday Sun of 20/07/2008 titled ' Call me names but gay is not ok' .
I am neither gay nor anglican, nor in any of the many categories that Qwelane spews bigotry over in this column, but I AM a proud South African, committed to upholding freedom from victimisation for all our people, including foreign visitors.

I am disgusted that Qwelane has spewed his own weird vitriol over so many topics for the past thirty odd years. Obviously he has failed to take note of the changes in the world over this period, not least those in SA. We don' t allow victimisation based on colour or creed or sex, and neither do we want to tolerate it on grounds of sexual orientation or passport or tribe, or any other meaningless line he draws.

This dude has seriously been an asshole for many years, hopefully this will shut him up.

Reply to jcat
Posted by: Anon | 2008/07/23

What I fail to understand is why the gay and lesbian organisations in SA are so quiet about this issue, why is it that only individuals are reacting? Where are the press releases etc from the organised gay community, or are they still having meetings about how to respond?

Reply to Anon
Posted by: Don | 2008/07/22

Hey Pat like the Expert here said its not only about gay and lesbian people, each one of us also has a family of loved ones and we all have friends, Ferny is fantastic mom who spoke out but we ALL have brothers and sisters, moms and dads, cousins, uncles and aunts, who also speak for us and so often we forget these valuable guys and think we are alone. So thank you Ferny and people like you who join us in our parade for human rights against people like the editor of the Sunday Sun who persecute us.

Reply to Don
Posted by: Pat | 2008/07/22

Ferny I REALLY love you, you are an amazing mom, one in a million, you have my utmost respect!

Reply to Pat
Posted by: Ferny | 2008/07/22

Hi Everyone,< br> < br> I have e-mailed the acting editor voicing my disgust!< br> < br> Got her e-mail address off the Sunday Sun website &  it is :-< br> < br> lrulashe at sundaysun dot co dot za< br> < br> The more of us who e-mail and make ourselves heard the better. Thanks to Glenn for being so proactive!< br> < br> Now we wait and see what comes of it all! I am copy &  pasting my e-mail here below.< br> < br> Love &  hugs - Ferny :-)< br> < br> Dear Editor,< br>  < br> I wish to voice my total disgust at your decision to publish the article on 20th July by Jon Qwelane in the Sunday Sun.< br>  < br> I am the proud mother of a gay son &  future gay son-in-law who are to be legally married on 8th August 2008 in terms of the South African constitution.< br>  < br> Mr Qwelane is entitled to his opinions, but I take exception with YOU for allowing those opinions to be published. Do you not realise the harm those opinions might do to innocent gay &  lesbian people in this country who are just going about their everyday business and doing NO harm at all to anyone in our society!!< br>  < br> Have you not learnt anything from the recent spate of Gay &  Lesbian attacks as well as the recent xenophobic attacks. It takes very little to stir up potential trouble &  these very inflammatory opinions could do great harm.< br>  < br> I request that you print an apology for allowing such an article to be published and for the potential harm it will cause.< br>  < br> Regards - Ferny Vermonti < br> 

Reply to Ferny
Posted by: OK BABES | 2008/07/22

So just give us her direct email address and she& #39 ll get more than she bargained for.

Reply to OK BABES
Posted by: Sam | 2008/07/22

Guys I tried to do a cut and paste of the article of mambaonlne to the forum but gave up after about 7 tries, you need to see this stuff so go take a look for yourself, click on the link above (but on this page)

Reply to Sam
Posted by: Impressed | 2008/07/22

YO!!!!! YOU ROCK EXPERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reply to Impressed
Posted by: WHO CARES? | 2008/07/22

Who really cares about a few gay guys and a few dusty lesbians shouting your heads off in some obscure and invisible corner of the universe? NO ONE CARES, NO ONE HEARS YOU, so rather start a social action group like a facebook group that targets companies who advertise in the Sunday Sun. SKRIK WAKKER, only a dent in the pocket of the newspaper will make a difference, they do no care a continental sh1t about human rights issues, as we have seen. MASS ACTION!

Reply to WHO CARES?
Posted by: Tiara | 2008/07/22

Pity this debate started after-hours, i want to hear from the guys who post in the day like Gareth, Deeve, Brad, Nikkits, Ferny, Lonewolf, Thomas etc etc etc, you know who you are, I think this discussion or debate can really go somewhere important.

Reply to Tiara
Posted by: Dirk | 2008/07/22

I am very shocked at this.

Reply to Dirk
Posted by: Thabo | 2008/07/22

We do not want the editor fired but we do want her brought to justice for this, any gay or lesbian person who is beaten up or raped or harmed, their blood is on HER hands but also on the hands of the advertisers who put money into the Sunday Sun.

Reply to Thabo
Posted by: Curious | 2008/07/22

Someone should start a Facebook group about this issue, that would be the best way to inform everyone of what& #39 s going on here and the best way to get that bitch editor fired. Any volunteers?

Reply to Curious
Posted by: Steve | 2008/07/22

I agree, the editor and not the journalist is to blame. And then the publisher is also to blame. The so-called jopurnalist John Qwelane is an ignoramus who shou d not be allowed to publish his poisonous views. If he had written this about Zulu people, or Jewish people, or Muslim people, or white people, or fat people, he would have been fired. The editor is even more stupid than he is for allowing this to go to print, and then we ask who appointed the editor? Does she have the necessary professional credentials? Does she have the insight and political savvy to guide this newspaper? Sadly it seems as if this editor is not up to the task at hand, certainly not if the newspaper subscribes to the Constitution of South Africa. And I agree with Glenn de Swardt, hot the paper where it hurts, and that is only in terms of advertising revenue, they REALLY don& #39 t care about us being upset or pissed off, they only want to make bucks and by targeting their advertisers with direct harassment FAR more will be accomplished, any newspaper looks to sales and advertising revenue and a national boycott of their advertisers will bring them to their knees. Another point worth noting, also mentioned by Glenn de Swardt, is that the gay community as we know it is surrounded by a network of family members and friends and this increases the clout of the gay political voice to about 20% of the general population. NO newspaper can afford to forget this, and neither can their advertisers. So DO NOT BACK OFF you guys, you have more power than you realise but you just need to learn to focus it better. A nationally-published list of the advertisers of the Sunday Sun, maybe circulated on Facebook, would do them immense harm. < br> < br> Be strong people and stand up against this disgrace.

Reply to Steve
Posted by: Agreed | 2008/07/22

I agree with the view that the newspaper& #39 s editor is to blame, and that their advertisers must be targeted, only money will make a difference since the editor OBVIOUSLY doesn& #39 t care about issues of morality or human rights. In fact she sounds like a menace to innocent people.

Reply to Agreed
Posted by: Thabo | 2008/07/22

Easy - send John Qwelane to Zim, since he loves Mugabe so much, let him experience life there for one year!

Reply to Thabo
Posted by: Anon | 2008/07/22

Hi Richard, so what is the Media24 protocol on hate speech, human rights issues etc?< br> < br> 

Reply to Anon
Posted by: Richard | 2008/07/22

Yes, it is part of Media24. I did, however, note with interest that News24 did not publish Jon Qwelane& #39 s column on their site this week...

Reply to Richard
Posted by: Anon | 2008/07/22

Is the Sunday Sun a Media24 product? That would make this more interesting since our forum is also hosted by Media24.

Reply to Anon
Posted by: Conrad | 2008/07/22

LOL this is a joke, look at what I found on their website: note that last line - that they& #39 re committed to " ... upholding the Constitution."  Obviously their editor, Linda Rulashe, is not familiar with the Constitution! < br> < br> " Sunday Sun is the fastest growing newspaper in thecountry. Many Sunday Sun buyers are first-time newspaper readers who in a very short time have become incredibly loyal to " their"  newspaper. Readers praise the newspaper for being fun, exciting, innovative, fearless and always giving everybody the opportunity to state their case.< br> Sunday Sun, published by RCP Media, is a sister newspaper to City Press and Rapport and is sold countrywide, and also in Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. It is printed in Johannesburg.< br> < br> It is politically independent and committed to upholding the Constitution." 

Reply to Conrad
Posted by: Anon | 2008/07/22

This was written by one of SA& #39 s most prominent black journalists - couple this to anti-gay comments made by Jacob Zuma and you& #39 ll feel a chill warning running down your spine. That was my reaction when I read the article. Is this what prominent black leaders, the " thinkers& #39  and " influencers"  of public opinion, think of us? This is scary.

Reply to Anon
Posted by: Neil | 2008/07/22

The worrying thing is that the Sunday Sun is very widely read, I heard its the fastest growing newspaper in the country, and what he says is totally toxic especially to people who are already wary of us. So we can& #39 t just dismiss this. < br> < br> But Apache_boy, the fact that we& #39 ll always be here doesn& #39 t make a difference, gays will also always be present in countries like Iran - but they literally stand the risk of being hanged because they& #39 re gay. Surely this is a human rights issue? Which affects all of us, not just a few?

Reply to Neil
Posted by: Apache_boy | 2008/07/22

Idiots like him should just wake up one day and realise that we arent going away, no matter what he says... we will be there for ever!!

Reply to Apache_boy

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.