A University of Cape Town student leader, Zizipho Pae, has been suspended from the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) and subjected to abuse and intimidation for expressing an opinion on her personal Facebook page that the legalisation of same-sex marriage in the United States amounts to legalising sin.
The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) has expressed shock at the “storm” over Pae’s Biblically-based remark and has called on the university of Cape Town “to protect this young lady from being harassed because of her religious beliefs”.
But in an interview with Family Policy Institute Director (FPI), Errol Naidoo, Pae, a final year economics and statistics student and Vice President of the SRC, says that university authorities have not taken any action on a Facebook campaign of threats, insults, obscenties and blasphemies against her by homosexual activists on campus or their trashing of her SRC office. However she says the University Department of Marketing and Communications has spoken to some of the media, saying that people should be allowed to express free speech but the university stands with the LGBTI [homosexual activists] community which is accusing her of “hate speech” and “homophobia” and wants her to be not only expelled from the SRC but from the university as well.
Call for Christian action
Naidoo has called on Christians to write immediately to UCT Vice Chancellor, Dr Max Price at firstname.lastname@example.org and request that he “urgently intervene to stop the horrendous attacks and anti-Christian bigotry against Zizipho Pae”. He has also urged Christians to write to SRC president, Ramabina Mahapa at email@example.com “and request that he not cave in to homosexual gestapo tactics and also protect the constitutional rights of Christian students at UCT”. According to The Citizen, Mahapa‚ SRC President‚ said the SRC distanced itself from Pae’s comments, immediately suspended her and is launching an investigation.
Pae’s Facebook post which sparked the backlash against her was made on Tuesday (June 28, 2015), days after the US Supreme Court’s decision to legalise same-sex marriage across all 50 state of the US. She wrote: “We are institutionalizing and normalizing sin. May God have mercy on us”,
According to Jacaranda.fm even the Democratic Alliance(DA) National Spokesperson Marius Redelinghuys, joined the Facebook uproar provoked by Pae’s comment, saying “Yes we are institutionalising all of it. We even took away the god given right to own slaves”.
Asked by Naidoo whether she would retract her comment as requested by the SRC, Pae said:”Definitely not. Being an SRC member does not in my view mean that you have got to abandon your Christian convictions and your faith. Christ in my life comes before all political positions or political thoughts. So I definitely won’t be retracting what I said.”
Expressing shock at the storm over Pae’s Facebook comment on legalising same-sex marriage, ACDP President, Dr Kenneth Meshoe says in a statement: “That position is based on Biblical teaching and she should not be condemned for voicing her belief. We call on those who are calling for tolerance to also tolerate the opinions and beliefs of others who simply state what the Holy Bible says.”
He says that Pae’s short comment does not promote intolerance or hatred towards any individual and urges “sober thinking, tolerance and fairness”.
“The ACDP also calls on the University of Cape Town to protect this young lady from being harassed because of her religious beliefs,” he says.
Naidoo reports that the failure of UCT’s management to take actions “against those perpetrating the harassment and appalling criminal attacks against Zizipho Pae” and her suspension from the SRC because of her Biblical convictions is “blatant and outrageous anti-Christian discrimination!”.
He writes: “The SA Constitution protects Zizi’s right to free speech and expression. The Constitution also protects her freedom to express her religious beliefs and her right to articulate her thoughts and opinions.
“In 2009, UCT featured the most appalling blasphemy of the name of Jesus Christ in their annual ‘Sax Appeal’ charity magazine. When I challenged them, they defended the students responsible for the blasphemous outrage — by appealing to the ‘free speech’ protections in the constitution.
“Alarmingly, a Christian student at UCT expressing her Biblical beliefs on her personal Facebook page is not found worthy of similar “free speech” protections. In fact, she is being threatened with expulsion! Homosexual activists have called Zizi’s scholarship funders and demanded they stop supporting her.
“You and I must not remain silent in the face of this blatant and unfair anti-Christian discrimination at UCT. Christians have a right to believe God’s Word and express their beliefs without fear of attack!”
Naidoo says that if Pae is expelled from the SRC or from UCT, FPI will launch a legal defence of her religious rights and freedoms.
“If Zizi can be stripped of her rights — so can every Christian in SA!” he says.