Rights of LGBT Persons

SALC’s programme on the rights of LGBT persons has the following objectives:

  • To act as a legal resource through which it can legally and strategically empower activists, lawyers, paralegals and civil society.
  • To improve jurisprudence on the rights of LGBT persons through incremental litigation focusing on freedom of association and expression for LGBT activists in the region.
  • To create a more nuanced legal strategy for criminal defence in sodomy cases.
  • To assert the role of the State to provide full citizenship and self-determination to all persons irrespective of gender identity and sexual orientation.
  • To assert police accountability in cases of police abuse of transgender persons.

On-going cases:

Zimbabwe: Action for damages for unlawful arrest of transgender person.
Botswana: Case challenging laws which criminalise same-sex sexual acts.
Malawi: Case challenging sodomy provisions in Penal Code.
Mozambique: Case challenging refusal to register LGBT organisation.
Malawi: Case challenging the arrest of a transgender person on the charge of soliciting for an immoral purpose.
Eswatini: Challenging the refusal to register an advocacy group

Precedent cases:

Botswana: Two cases challenging State’s refusal to change gender marker of transgender persons.
Botswana: Case challenging the refusal to register an LGBT organisation.
Malawi: Case challenging arrest of couple on sodomy charges.
Zambia: Case challenging arrest of couple on sodomy charges.
Zambia: Support activist’s right to freedom of expression.

19 Aug 2020 Staff Writer
SALC and LEGABIBO hosting a Virtual Dialogue...

SALC and LEGABIBO will host a virtual dialogue on 21 August. To attend, please register here.

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25 Jun 2020 Staff Writer
MEDIA ADVISORY: ESWATINI HIGH COURT POSTPONES CASE ON THE REFUSAL TO REGISTER AN...

24 June 2020, Mbabane – Today, the Eswatini High Court was scheduled to hear arguments in the case of Simelane & Others versus Minister of Commerce and Industries & Others, in which the applicants sought a review of the Registrar…

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22 Jun 2020 Staff Writer
MEDIA ADVISORY: ESWATINI HIGH COURT TO HEAR CASE ON THE REFUSAL TO REGISTER AN L...

22 June 2020, Mbabane – On 24 June 2020, the Eswatini High Court will hear arguments in the case of Simelane & Others versus Minister of Commerce and Industries & Others. The case challenges the refusal of Eswatini’s Registrar of…

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22 Jun 2020 Staff Writer
Eswatini: Challenging the Refusal to Register an Advocacy Group...

In September 2019, Eswatini’s Registrar of Companies refused to register the organisation Eswatini Sexual and Gender Minorities (ESGM). The Registrar argued that ESGM’s purpose was unlawful because same-sex sexual acts are illegal in the country. ESGM and its members filed…

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28 Apr 2020 Staff Writer
JONATHAN DUBULA QWELANE V SOUTH AFRICAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION AND ANOTHER...

On 22 September 2020, the Constitutional Court will hear the case of Jonathan Dubula Qwelane v South African Human Rights Commission and Another (case no: 13/20). The Constitutional Court will decide whether section 10 of the Promotion of Equality and…

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19 Feb 2020 Amanda Shivamba
SALC IN THE NEWS: Malawian LGBTI activist ‘unlawfully’ arrested and ...

On the 18th February 2020, Dispatch Live reported: A Malawian LGBTI activist was arrested and detained by police at the weekend after being asked for proof of his immigration status in South Africa. Eric Sambisa, director of Nyasa Rainbow Alliance,…

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18 Feb 2020 Amanda Shivamba
Joint Statement Calling For The Immediate Release of Eric Sambisa...

17 February 2020 - On Saturday 15th February, Eric Sambisa, Director of Nyasa Rainbow Alliance and prominent Malawian LGBTI activist was arrested and detained by the South African Police Services. Mr Sambisa entered the country on Sunday 9 February to…

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13 Jan 2020 Staff Writer
SALC Journal Article: Decriminalisation of consensual same-sex sexual acts and t...

In the African Human Rights Law Journal, SALC's Tashwill Esterhuizen, examines the recent judgment in Letsweletse Motshidiemang v The Attorney-General in which the High Court of Botswana decriminalised consensual same-sex sexual acts between adults. While many elements of the decision…

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26 Nov 2019 Staff Writer
High court decision affirms human rights of transgender people in Zimbabwe...

Opinion Piece first published on 26 November 2019 on mg.co.za In 2014, Ricky Nathanson was arrested and charged with criminal nuisance after she used a toilet for women. In a progressive judgment with far-reaching implications, the Zimbabwean high court found…

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18 Nov 2019 Staff Writer
Breaking News: Zimbabwe High Court awards damages in ground breaking judgment in...

Zimbabwe High Court awards damages in ground breaking judgment in favour of Ricky Nathanson, a transgender woman and activist. The Bulawayo High Court in Zimbabwe delivered a scathing judgment against Zimbabwean police. The Honourable Justice Bere awarded Ricky Nathanson, a…

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25 Sep 2019 Staff Writer
News Release: LEGABIBO is disappointed by the Attorney General’s Decision to A...

In a unanimous decision, on 11 June 2019, Justices A.B Tafa, M Leburu and J. Dube decriminalised same-sex sexual acts/conduct among consenting adults in private. Sections 164, 165 and 167 of Botswana’s Penal Code outlawed ‘carnal knowledge of any person…

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13 Jun 2019 Staff Writer
SALC IN THE NEWS: Incremental gains and public activism pave the way for decrimi...

The Daily Maverick Incremental gains and public activism pave way the way for decriminalisation of same-sex sexual conduct in Botswana By Tashwill Esterhuizen The recent Botswana court victory, which will bring enormous benefits to the LGBT community in Botswana and…

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