South Africa elects lesbian cabinet minister
South African President Jacob Zuma has elected the African nation’s first openly lesbian cabinet minister, Lynne Brown. Brown has been appointed as Minister of Public Enterprises.
The 59-year-old was the former Premier of the Western Cape Province.
Eusebius McKaiser, broadcaster and political author, told The Guardian that Brown’s appointment was significant for Africa’s LGBTI people.
"‘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," he said.
"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."
Earlier this week South Africa elected its first openly gay black MP, Zakhele Mbhele, a member of the opposition Democratic Alliance.