The Democratic Alliance (DA) said that while it supports the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community, it rejects the illegal occupation of a mansion in Camps Bay. This comes after a group of queer activists purposefully overstayed at a luxury spot in Camps Bay in protest of excessive private wealth among others.
DA SUPPORTS AIRBNB’S DEMAND FOR QUEER ACTIVISTS TO VACATE CAMPS BAY MANSION
DA Shadow Minister of Small Business Development Zakhele Mbhele said it is hypocritical to claim to advance a rights-based agenda by violating the rights of others. While the property management group called for the queer activists to vacate by Thursday, it appears Airbnb has given the group until Friday 25 September to leave.
“We support Airbnb’s demand that the illegal occupiers vacate the premises by 17:00 today [Friday]. The illegal occupiers of this property are not simply the victims they portray themselves as but are undermining the legitimate struggle of many to advance LGBTQIA+ rights,” said Mbhele.
The group, who call themselves a “collective of queer artivists,” took to Twitter saying their cause is to recognise exploitation by an “elite class” who control a disproportion of wealth and resources and to protest the lack of safe space for queer people, women and children in a country with abhorrent rates of gender-based violence.
The DA, however, feel their actions are tainting the struggle and putting their own interests above those of the owner of the property and the tourism and hospitality industry that is responsible for thousands of jobs in South Africa.
‘THEY CAN ONLY BE VIEWED AS EXTREMELY SELFISH’ – MBHELE
Mbhele said the right to own property is protected by section 25 (1) of the Constitution: “No one may be deprived of property except in terms of law of general application, and no law may permit arbitrary deprivation of property.”
The DA said that while it has sympathy for the queer activists’ cause to highlight the plight of vulnerable queer people, women and children in South Africa, illegally occupying someone else’s property in Camps Bay distracts from their goal.
“Joblessness stands at almost 40% in South Africa after multitudes of business have had to either retrench many staff or closed their doors permanently. The country’s economy will struggle to recover for a long time to come. The actions of this group put the already strained livelihoods of people at risk in an industry that has only recently been able to re-open and they can only be viewed as extremely selfish,” said Mbhele.
“The LGBTQIA+ community often [face] severe discrimination and violence, even in South Africa where their rights are entrenched in the Constitution. The cause to highlight these injustices is righteous; the actions of these occupiers are not.”
Read the original article on The South African