Jacob Zuma appoints first gay minister

JOHANNESBURG — South African President Jacob Zuma has appointed the country’s first openly gay Cabinet minister, thought also to be a first in Africa and a symbolic step on a continent enduring a homophobic backlash.

Lynne Brown becomes Public Enterprises minister in a Cabinet that also includes South Africa’s first black Minister of Finance.

Brown (52), who is coloured (of mixed race ancestry), was born in Cape Town and was Premier of Western Cape until the African National Congress (ANC) lost control of the province to the opposition Democratic Alliance in 2009.

According to a 2008 profile by the South African Press Association, Brown began her career as a teacher and gained a certificate in gender planning methodology at University College London.

“I can’t bear working in an environment where things don’t get done,” she was quoted as saying.

“I’m not a flamboyant type of person, I get things done.”

Her personal interests were said to be playing golf, reading and “an admiration of arts and culture”.

She is not seen as a gay rights activist, but her ascent to a Cabinet post was described yesterday as a significant moment.

Eusebius McKaiser, a broadcaster and political author, who is gay, said: “It is, sadly, probably newsworthy, I guess, insofar as the social impact of openly gay people in high-profile public leadership positions cannot be discounted in a country like South Africa where levels of homophobia, including violence against black lesbian women, remain rife. The symbolism matters also from an African perspective too given other countries around us are enacting and enforcing laws criminalising same-sex sex and lifestyles.”

South Africa was the first African country to legalise gay marriage but Zuma, a traditional Zulu polygamist, has previously been criticised for culturally fundamentalist remarks and failing to condemn anti-gay crackdowns in Nigeria and Uganda.

Meanwhile, Zuma (72), who was inaugurated on Saturday for a second term, named Nhlanhla Nene as Finance minister, the first black person to hold the position.
Nene (55) had served as deputy to the widely respected Pravin Gordhan, who is of Indian ancestry.

Cyril Ramaphosa, a former miners’ union leader-turned-billionaire businessman, becomes Deputy President.

After a punishing five-month strike in the platinum mines, Mineral Resources minister Susan Shabangu was removed.

Police minister Nathi Mthethwa, who was in office during the killing of 34 striking miners at Marikana in 2012, was also shifted from his post. — The Guardian

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26 Comments

  1. We have several in Zimbabwe only they dare not say it as Oscas Wilde put aptlty, ”love that wont say its name.”

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  2. mbanje chenjera

    maziwisa is a gay but he is in zanupf administration. he head is full of sperms

  3. AZANIA/South Africa/Ndazo/Mzanzi.65% of the world is saying NO to gay.Generally Ndazo is included of the 60%.(acc to a survey).But because of foreign aid and chikarabwino ne the worst west,they are seen vachingoita sevanohuda hungochani.Mari,yakaipa fani.

  4. This is a very interesting development. Lynne Brown is openly gay. Mugabe has used phrases such as “gays are worse than dogs”, “gay gangsters”, what does he think of this openly gay S African minister? Is she worse than a dog? Will Lynne Brown not be allowed into Zimbabwe lest she contaminates Zimbabwe’s very high morals? I am sure Mugabe won’t be speaking about gays has he often does when he wants to divert attention from his incompetent, violent, reckless and primitive reign.

    1. For your information Mugabe is not afraid of anyone, if he challenged Blair in front of all people then who is this gay that he cannot challenge. Gaysm is very wrong and is totally unacceptable. Satanism at its best and for sure worse than dogs or any other animal you can think of.

  5. They gay Musona excited that one of their own has been elevated down their in SA, but it won’t change the fact that gaysim is an abomination.

    1. They not gay Cde Hondo not excited that not their own has been elevated down their in SA, but it won’t change the fact that to be or not to be gay is a matter of one’s choice. Name calling or denigrading them will not make them not gay.

  6. dzimai moto uchiri mushoma, mwari havadi tsvina dzakadaro mochecheudzirwe midhidhi shuwa nemaomere akaita tsafu dzemurume ndokunzwa kuda kumatoto zveshuwa PTU PTU PTU!!

    1. @ Zvorwadza hypocrite please make sure that you do not err in law lest you find yourself in prison and that’s when you will realise that what you said is happening for sure. If you want go to chikurubi for a day

  7. “Police minister Nathi Mthwethwa ……………was also shifted” To where Mr reporter?

  8. I don’t think she/he was given this post for being gay but for his/her ability to deliver results. Nobody gets a top government post for being gay, that is just silly.

  9. @ Chinja! am not reporting from Chikurubi Prison my dear, tsvina itsvina chete why kumirira wasungwa ko varikunze vanozviita vakasungwa nani. i dont support not kuti president vakadaro, kwandiri hazvingoite. ita wega kana zvichikunakira nakirwa wega usaudze vamwe Ptu!!!

    1. @Zvorwadza may I remind you that this is a free country and hapana akumanikidza but te fact is there are some who are doing it including the kith and kin. You are free to do what you want. Zviri pachena se chakiti yembudzi kuti in the Banana republic zvirimo uchida usingade. the only consolation is you are not doing it or it is not being done to you. Cheer my fellow Zimbo

    2. Zorwadza uneyese. kufongorera kana kufongorerwa nemurume. ptu

  10. She ain’t gay but lesbian. my first impression was a male when you use the gay word.

  11. An idea is almost equal to a child yet to be born. Zimbabweans seem to be highly endowed with knowldge, particularly political sentiments,yet themselves are the real inventors of their own troubles. Have enough wisdom and you will know whom to trust and not to. Have enough wisdom and you will know as to where your allegiency is. Have no wisdom and spent all your days on earth talking of politicians and their decisions.

  12. @ chinja4life yo words lack intelligible meaning, the fact that this absard act is being publicised doesnt mean its moral good despite a country’s democracy. moral judgement shld come thru one’s personal reasoning..

    1. @Kondozi and Zvorwadza focusing on these things then raving, ranting and wailing about you being against it will not change anything for these gays and lesbians will be there and like I said this will affect you whether you like it or not but I think the most important is for one to focus on more important issues just as you can see JZ has appointed a known gay into his cabinet. These are moving of times guys. Shouting about it I think its a waste if time and energy

  13. kuora kwenyika zvobva zvanatsoratidza husodhoma negomora chaihwo, vanhu vakasvika svika wotonatso ligaliser zvakadai……..nxaaaaa

  14. At first God created the World……other things….the he created a man, and a women…why didnt he created 2 Adams…i dont even understand where these motherfuckers came from.they are just confused…they dont know if they male or female….they are engulfed with a demonic spirit aimed to destroy the world…

    imagine,,,every1 bcomes gay…no reproduction,no adoption…you die and die, no offsprings…the world will come to an end..they all die…….
    wats their aim…they are just cog in a machine used by the devil….

    if i see or meet any chichiman in my hood, i will murri you…until your identity is restored….

    You zuma you must be carefull…you are bringing confusion in the party…the day they will sort your puphole you are going to learn a lesson….watchout…

  15. Don't Take Photo

    Iwe nhai, don’t take photo…..

  16. Jonathan Moyo is a big gay guy.

  17. Ptu Ptu Ptu…. South Ndaisvipa….nxaa mhani

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