Religious freedom was the winner this week as University of Cape Town Vice Chancellor Dr Max Price ordered that “expelled” SRC Vice President Zizipho Pae be reinstated and DA MP Marius Redlinghuys apologised to her for comments he made to her in response to her Facebook post reacting critically to the legalisation of same-sex marriage in the USA.
Price who last week condemned intimidation of Pae by offended LGBTQIA+ protesters announced this week that Pae’s expulsion at a chaotic SRC meeting onJuly 21 was procedurally invalid. He consulted the Constitutional Court and the UCT Faculty of Law after Pae asked him to review the SRC decision, saying that in the absence of appropriate steps she would take the matter to court.
Redlinghuys today apologised to Pae for his series of comments on Pae’s Facebook page which he says were not intended to cause any harm, reports the Cape Times. Redelinghuys’s apology followed a meeting last night with DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen whose intervention followed a call by the Christian View Network for the DA to dismiss Redelinghuys for “a long series of mocking, insulting and other pro-homosexual messages which amount to harassment” and a call by the ACDP for the MP to apologise for his remarks.
Making his apology today, Redelinghuys said: “I hold that freedom of expression and freedom of opinion, belief and conscience are fundamental and inviolable Constitutional rights afforded to every person.
“I also hold that our constitution provides for the right to be and live the life we value, gay or straight.
“While I differ significantly with Ms Pae’s views I respect her right to hold them and to express them freely…”However if Ms Pae felt my remarks were harmful, abusive or , I apologise. This was not my intention.”
Freedom of Religion of SA spokesman, Advocate Nadene Badenhorst, said on behalf of Pae: “FOR SA respects Mr Redelinghuys’ rights to choose his beliefs and the life he wants to live, and is grateful for his acknowledgement that we live in a pluralistic society where people should be respectful, accommodating and tolerant of each others differences,” reports the Cape Times.
Meanwhile, despite the setting aside of the invalid expulsion of Pae from the SRC, SRC President Ramabina Mahapa told the Cape Times the SRC sticks with its reasons for expelling her. He said the SRC supports the “queer community” and condemns Pae for inflicting hurt by her conduct.
Pae’s Facebook post on June 28 “We are institutionalizing and normalizing sin. May God have mercy on us” sparked a storm of protest from the LGBTQIA+ community at UCT including vandalisation of her office and a barrage of vitriolic and intimidatory remarks directed at her.
Badenhorst condemned the SRC’s failure to accept responsibility for the invalid expulsion of Pae and said:”It is clear the SRC is not an environment where difference of belief and opinion is welcomed or accommodated.
“As such the SRC is not representative of the pluralistic nature of our society and also does not hold true to the values of our constitution.”
Pae told LifeSiteNews this week: “My biggest regret is that I have lost friends within the LGBT community. … Homophobia is the hatred or the fear of someone because of their homosexuality.” This does not describe her views at all, she said. “We need to draw a line between homophobia and being a Christian.”
She said: “The fact that I was kicked out at the request of a group of 50 people says a lot of about the strength of democracy on campus.”
She said though tiny, the campus’ “Queer Revolution” has dominated campus discourse all year with its “transformation” agenda. They have even proposed a “Transform Religion” initiative aimed at re-educating Christian and Muslim students about the morality of homosexuality. Lately they are even offering counselling to anyone “traumatised” by the Pae controversy.
Pae said she was disappointed that Christians on campus, who she believed greatly outnumbered the homosexual lobby, had not come to her defence publicly. “Christians are too quiet.” She said the controversy had strengthened her faith. “I’ve seen on a small scale what persecution of Christians is like. People are offended by Christianity and offended by the Gospel. But I’ve seen the Lord’s faithfulness. He has sustained me.”