A television reporter in South Africa has been forced to apologise after tweeting: “it’s fine to be homophobic”.
Arabile Gumede, a business journalist with 24-hour news channel eNCA, was commenting on Ugandan President Yoweri Musevni’s decision to sign Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law.
The South African Times reports Mr Gumede tweeted: “I think it’s fine to be homophobic, but to imprison someone for life because of their sexual preference is quite hefty.”
He continued: “Imprisoning a homosexual for life is like killing a squirrel cause it stole your cashews.”
Power FM presenter Eusebius McKaiser tweeted in response: “Why on earth is homophobia OK dude? Is it OK to be racist as long as I don’t beat you to a pulp?”
Mr Gumede replied: “It actually is.”
Head of News at eNCA, Patrick Conroy, said: “We do not condone discrimination in any form.”
Mr Gumede has now apologised. “I would like to pass on my sincerest apologies for my tweet,” he said in a statement.
“My hope was to relay a message that no one should impose their views on others either through death or any harm no matter what their views are on any social, judicial, economic or environmental issues. I am truly sorry, and take full responsibility for my actions.”
South Africa’s post-apartheid constitution in 1997 was the first in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation.