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 Post subject: Re: South Africa and sex
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:06 pm 
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Man accused of rape and murder that shocked South Africa is released
May 21, 2013

(Reuters) - South African prosecutors dropped charges on Tuesday against one of the two men charged with raping, mutilating and killing a teenage girl in a crime that outraged a country hardened by some of the world's highest rates of sexual violence.

Prosecution spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said the man had been released from custody because there was not enough evidence to take him to trial.

The victim, Anene Booysen, 17, was found at a building site in the town of Bredasdorp, 130 km (80 miles) east of Cape Town, in February with horrific wounds that included having her stomach slit open to her genitals. Before she died a few days later in hospital, she named one person she said raped her. Police at the time suspected she had been gang-raped and arrested three people to faces charges of rape and murder.

Prosecutors later decided to bring charges against just two of them. "The police have finalised the investigation and up to now there is only one accused that is involved," Ntabazalila told national news broadcaster ENCA on Tuesday. "There are no other accused that have been identified."

After the murder, President Jacob Zuma expressed "shock and outrage" and called for the harshest possible sentences for the people who attacked Booysen. Anti-rape campaigns were launched nationwide in Booysen's name while crowds chanted "enough is enough" outside court when suspects in the case appeared.

There are about 180 rapes a day reported on average in South Africa but few people are ever arrested. Even when suspects are caught, only 12 percent of cases end in conviction.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz and Wendell Roelf; Editing by Pravin Char)
Source: Reuters.

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 Post subject: Re: South Africa and sex
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:52 pm 
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Greed behind rise in S.Africa circumcision deaths: minister
29 May 2013

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Young boys from the Xhosa tribe attend a traditional initiation school in Libode, South Africa, on November 20, 2009.

AFP - South Africa's health minister said Wednesday that traditional male circumcision rituals had been "hijacked" by people looking to make money from the rite of passage, fuelling a spike in deaths of young males.

Police have reported that 34 young men have died in recent weeks in two provinces during rituals to mark the passage into manhood at so-called initiation schools in the bush.

"Over the years, this century-old culture has been slowly corrupted and eroded to give way to commercial interests," minister Aaron Motsoaledi told lawmakers in a debate called on the deaths. "Then mutilations and deaths started rising year by year until we are at this point", which he said was reaching crisis proportions.

South African boys from ethnic Xhosa, Sotho and Ndebele groups typically spend around a month in secluded bush or mountains areas for their initiation. This includes the circumcision carried out by traditional surgeons -- sometimes using unsterilised instruments or lacking in technique -- as well as lessons on masculine courage and discipline.

Botched circumcisions, leading to penis amputations and deaths are an annual tragedy in South Africa. However the latest deaths, with 28 in one province alone, have prompted fresh outrage and calls for action. "We are mostly dealing with individuals who have decided to hijack certain African cultures to amass wealth for themselves, make huge amounts of money in as short a time as possible hiding under the cloak of culture and tradition," said Motsoaledi. A health ministry spokesman could not give details on the amounts charged other than "there's a lot of money involved". "Those who flouted these laws must be brought to book and arrested without fear and favour regardless of their social, cultural and traditional standing," the minister told lawmakers.

Source: France24.

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 Post subject: Re: South Africa and sex
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:37 pm 
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Walk-in vagina installed in Johannesburg women's prison
by James Legge
Friday, 30 August 2013

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Visitors are invited to walk through the artwork, by 30-year-old artist Reshma Chhiba. Getty Images

A former women's prison in South Africa which once held Winnie Mandela is now home to a 12m-deep screaming vagina.

See photo gallery.

Visitors are invited to walk through the artwork, by 30-year-old artist Reshma Chhiba, in a reaction against the former symbol of oppression. As they do, the scarlet walls ring out with screams and laughter. The "yoni" - the Sanskrit word for vulva, or vagina - is skirted by acrylic wool imitation pubic hair over a tongue-like sponge walkway.

Chhiba said: "It's a screaming vagina within a space that once contained women and stifled women. It's revolting against this space... mocking this space, by laughing at it."

The prison, in the central Johannesburg area of Braamfontein, dates back to 1892, and its Womens' Prison held Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in 1958, when she was imprisoned for protesting against apartheid segregation, and again in 1976. The artist said the work also opposes deeply entrenched patriarchal systems, and taboos around the vagina. "You don't often hear men talking about their private parts and feeling disgust or shamed," as women often do, she said. "And that alone speaks volumes of how we've been brought up to think about our bodies, and what I am saying here is that it's supposed to be an empowering space."

The artist also said the work aims at respect for the female body, in a country where 65,000 attacks on girls and women are reported annually. Before walking through, visitors have to remove their shoes. "By talking off your shoes, essentially you are respecting it, making it a divine space, a sacred space," said Chhiba.

Though the fine art graduate and practising Hindu insisted she "definitely did not make this work for the sake of controversy," the work has - predictably - sparked a reaction. Benathi Mangqaaleza, 24-year-old female security guard at the site, which also houses the country's constitutional court, said: "It's the most private part of my body. I grew up in the rural areas, we were taught not to expose your body, even your thighs let alone your vagina. I think it's pornographic, I think they have gone too far."

Kubi Rama, head of Gender Links, a lobby group promoting gender equality in southern Africa, praised the work, saying: "It is bringing the private into the public, that the woman's body is not necessarily a private matter."

Source: The Independent UK.

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 Post subject: Re: South Africa and sex
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:20 am 
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South Africa's rape problem: why the crime remains under-reported
Monday, 4 November 2013

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South Africans call upon President Jacob Zuma to tackle the country's rape crisis. Photograph: AP /Avaaz

Johannesburg's glitzy shopping arcades, restaurants and leafy suburbs have come to represent the confident, successful face of South Africa.

But there is also a violence here, underlined by the country's rape statistics, that unites the townships of the have-nots and the gated communities of the wealthy. South Africa has extremely high levels of sexual assault. "The prevalence of rape, and particularly multiple perpetrator rape … is unusually high," according to a 2012 report by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) thinktank.

The country's police service is defensive about this deplorable record. In its latest crime figures, the South African Police Services (Saps) maintains the rate of sexual offences was sharply down in Gauteng, the province under which Johannesburg falls. But ISS points out that if updated population statistics from 2012 are taken into account, the national rate was actually up by 1.5%. That means that last year, 127 people per 100,000 of the population were sexually assaulted.

Lizette Lancaster, manager of the ISS crime and justice information hub, says there are many complex reasons South Africa has such high sexual offence rates. The armed struggle against apartheid and the violent backlash and suppression that followed have led to a normalisation of violence in South African society, she said. "Kids grew up seeing violence on their streets," she added. More recently, high unemployment rates and poverty have left some "traumatised" people exposed to a lot of "social stresses", she added. Finally, South Africa is a paternalistic society, where women are not seen as equals, contributing to abuse. "Rape, as you know, is not a sexual act but a violent act," Lancaster said.

"Rape is one of the most under-reported crimes in South Africa," noted Shukumisa, an NGO coalition. It points to research, conducted in Gauteng in 2010, that found one in four of women questioned in the study had been raped in the course of their lifetimes, while almost one in 12 had been raped in 2009. But only one in 13 women raped by a non-partner reported the incident to the police, while one in 25 of the women raped by their partner reported this to the police.

Rape statistics are, therefore, badly skewed because many women remain silent about sexual violence.

Confidence in police

Because of low conviction rates, specialised family violence, child protection and sexual offences units were closed in 2006, affecting reporting rates and confidence in the police. The units were re-established in 2011, and were "beginning to bear fruit", wrote Phumla Williams, acting chief executive of the Government Communication and Information System. "The minister of justice, Jeff Radebe, recently announced that sexual offences courts would be relaunched to help cut the backlogs of sexual offences cases."

South Africa has one of the most progressive sex offences acts in the world, a new version of which became effective in 2007, Lancaster points out. "It covers marital rape, consensual sexual acts involving a minor and even the making of pornography. But the problem is that there is still a lot of stigma attached to reporting a rape, even a lack of awareness that an abuse has occurred – many of the rapes are date rapes or by intimate partners."

Women and other vulnerable members of the community need to have a sense of confidence in the justice system before they are willing to report these crimes, Lancaster adds. Many police stations have victim-friendly rooms and facilities, and police are being trained to be more gender sensitive. "But at the end of the day, members of the police force are also drawn from the same society, so one cannot really teach gender sensitivity. At times, even policemen are perpetrators, so it does not give victims a lot of confidence," she said.

At least 12 Saps members in the Western Cape province were arrested on charges of rape in 2012.

Refusing to remain silent



But some have chosen not to be silenced by the violence they have experienced. In the working-class Soweto suburbs of Eldorado Park and Klipspruit West, some women have chosen not to be mere spectators to sexual violence in their communities; they are helping victims heal. Resident Joan Adams has opened her home as a sanctuary to the neighbourhood's children. Between 10 and 20 visit her home every week, some of them victims of sexual abuse. Adams, who was sexually abused as a child, uses her experience to reach out to the children. She lends a sympathetic ear and offers homespun wisdom to help them get on with their lives. She is unemployed, but manages with support from her children and money from a room in her house that she has rented out.

IRIN spoke to Adams on one of the days when she was helping local children. She admits she does not have confidence in Saps: "I had taken cases to them in the past, which did not lead to a successful conviction as they failed to gather sufficient evidence." Instead, Adams chooses to focus on the victims and tries to find safe families and relatives they can turn to.

Abigail Vassen, the mother of a boy who was sexually abused when he was five, is coming to terms with what happened to him. He is now 17 and serving a two-decade prison sentence for killing a youth who taunted him about the rape. Vassen was too traumatised to help her son when the rape occurred, but she is now trying to help him get his life back on track with some education and counselling. She speaks of her pain and her desire to reach out to other parents in her predicament. This is her story.

Source: Guardian UK.

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 Post subject: Re: South Africa and sex
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:06 am 
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Salvation Army to attend South Africa sex fair
28 August 2013

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Female dancers practice at a pole-dancing school on June 27, 2008 in Paris.

AFP - The Salvation Army said Wednesday it will join porn stars, strippers and pole dancers at an upcoming South African sex expo to promote "Christian understanding of sexuality".

"If Jesus Christ was on earth today, he would be standing beside us at Sexpo," said the nearly 150-year-old group, famed for brass bands and charity work. "We're not going there to condemn anyone. We aren't going to lecture people," said the church's spokeswoman Carin Holmes. "We're going there to be available," she said.

The church group also hopes to raise awareness about sex slavery and human trafficking during the four-day event being held in September near Johannesburg. Holmes said Sexpo offers an opportunity to remind people that "sex is not always sexy".

The "Health, Sexuality and Lifestyle Expo" is thought to be the largest of its kind in Africa. Aside from the Salvation Army it will also feature porn stars, pole dancing, hypnotists and an amateur strip show. With the end of apartheid in 1994, and the advent of a new constitution replete with rights, sex shops and strip clubs have blossomed, and are found across South Africa.

In April the country's broadcasting regulator granted a local satellite television service permission to air the country's first pornography channels, despite resistance from religious and community groups.

Source: France24.

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 Post subject: Re: South Africa and sex
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:21 pm 
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A journey to the heart of Africa’s Aids epidemic
by Jeremy Laurance
Sunday, 17 November 2013

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Day One Kasensero, Uganda

It is a rough road to Kasensero on the western shore of Lake Victoria in south west Uganda and a rough town at the end of it. A bone shaking hour after leaving the main Uganda–Tanzania highway, we crested a ridge and got our first glimpse of the “hot zone”, the epicentre of Africa’s Aids epidemic. The corrugated iron roofs, clustered at the water’s edge, glinted in the afternoon sun. Twenty minutes later we were down among the fishing boats - 40ft long wooden canoes with outboard motors, at least 150 of them – drawn up in tight formation on the beach.

Kasensero may one day become a tourist destination as the site where the first stirrings of the holocaust that has so far claimed 30 million lives around the world were identified in Africa. It was here in the early 1980s that Ugandan researchers spotted a new syndrome they termed “Slim” disease, (because it turned sufferers into walking skeletons) publishing their findings in 1982.

One day tourists may come, perhaps - but not today. The beach was not a comfortable place to be. Red-eyed fishermen, many of them drunk at 4pm, leered at my blonde 25 year old daughter, whom I had brought along as my photographer. Others leaned on their boats, counting out wads of banknotes, as they traded huge silver fish with crimson gills from the day’s catch. “Take me to London,” joked one man, the alcohol heavy on his breath. “Bring us money,” said another, his friends laughing. “Hey sister,” yelled a third, making a mock lunge at my daughter.

Two years ago Western political leaders began speaking about the “end of Aids”. Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton foresaw a time when the disease might be beaten, and The Economist published an influential article asking if its days were numbered. Their optimism was based on research that heralded a step change in the battle against the virus. It had shown that the anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) which had already saved millions of lives also dramatically reduced transmission of the virus, by as much as 96 per cent.

For the first time the world had a weapon that could potentially defeat Aids, but which did not rely on changing sexual behaviour – notoriously difficult to achieve. Every person put on treatment meant one fewer to spread the contagion. In September this year the deputy head of Unaids, Dr Luiz Loures, declared the Aids epidemic could be over by 2030. It is a pity Mr Obama, Ms Clinton and the rest were not able to visited Kasensero, 250 kilometres south west of Kampala, Uganda’s capital, in Rakai province. Almost 30 years since those first cases of Slim were described, the town now has what is almost certainly the highest level of HIV infection on the planet. And it is rising, not falling.

One in every two women and a third of men carries the virus in Kasensero, according to a 2012 survey by the Rakai Health Science Programme (RHSP). Among sex workers, the prevalence is 75 per cent. There are no comparable figures from earlier decades but the researchers estimate in the 1990s, 25 per cent of the population of Kasensero was infected, suggesting the prevalence has increased by half, to its present level of 41 per cent, in the last 20 years.

It is a town of shacks and hovels, crumbling in the dust, wholly dependent on the trade in fish. Few among its 30,000 inhabitants are permanent residents and fewer still over 40. Fishing is a risky, uncertain trade suitable only for young, fit men - marauding gangs of them - who are paid daily, in cash, according to that day’s catch. They spend their money on beer, drugs – and sex. In a hut on the beach, the town’s chairman Lawrence Muganga, described how sex workers from across the border in Tanzania and as far afield as Kampala responded to the demand. “They call their friends and ask: ‘Is business good? If it is a good season [for fishing], there are many coming.”

Tacked to the hut door outside is a sign advertising free condoms but when Mr Muganga pulled down the white cardboard box from where it was stuffed in the eaves, no more than a dozen of the 100 it contained had been taken since it was delivered by the local clinic a week earlier. “Very many prostitutes come here to sell their bodies. So you have to teach them to use this one to protect themselves,” he said, without conviction.

Behind the beach, rows of curtained doorways concealed the bars and brothels that lined the streets. Jane Namutebi, 31, rented one of the cell-like spaces for 60,000 Ugandan shillings a month (£15). Wearing a long blue dress, she sat in the gloom with two friends, both in revealing low cut tops. “I am hoping to get a big business. The customers are attracted by the women,” she said, indicating her friends. Bottles of Beckam Gin and Royal Vodka stood on the dusty shelf above her. She was diagnosed HIV positive a year ago. Her three children are looked after elsewhere by their grandmother. Did she use condoms? “I had them but they are finished. The customers don’t have enough education for safe sex.”

All along the shores of Lake Victoria, the story is the same. Fishing, by its nature, is uncertain and risky. Fishermen move from place to place, wherever the catch is good. They are young men, with plenty of cash, living in communities with few families, few older people and no constraints. Drownings are common and alcohol cheap and ubiquitous. By comparison with the risk of going out on the lake, the risk of HIV is remote.

“These are very isolated communities with very basic services”, said Asiki Gershim, project leader at the UK Medical Research Council in Masaka, 80km from Kalensero. A recent survey found more than half of fishermen said they had had more than one partner in the previous three months. Serotyping shows fishermen spread the virus into the general population when they return to their home villages. They, not truckers, may be the crucible of the African epidemic.

The story of Aids in Africa has been told as if it were a single epidemic which has swept the continent, mainly – and uniquely – spread through heterosexual sex. But the truth is, as always, more complex. There are hundreds of separate Aids epidemics in Africa, each following its own trajectory, each with its own drivers.

Rakai province has the highest HIV rate in Uganda, driven by its fishing communities. At 12 per cent it is almost twice the national rate. Across the continent infection rates have fallen dramatically in the last two decades but worryingly, and uniquely, in Uganda the national rate has turned upward again, from a prevalence of 6.4 per cent in 2005 to 7.3 per cent in 2012.

Uganda was the first African country to be hit by Aids in the 1980s, the first to respond, and the first to see a dramatic fall in infections, a pattern since followed by the rest. The recent resurgence of the virus in the country has aroused fears that it may signal a new continent-wide reversal, putting paid to heady talk in the West about the end of Aids. “I am very concerned there is complacency,” said Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and former director of Unaids. “As one commentator said [in response to talk of the end of Aids], what have they been smoking? People are not looking at the complexity of the epidemic. Uganda was the first country that achieved results – it may be the first where we see a rebound, and others follow.”

Special factors are at work in Uganda. The president, Yoweri Museveni, marking his 28th year in power, was the most outspoken leader on Aids in the 1980s, as he watched it decimate his troops. But in recent years his enthusiasm has waned, some say under the influence of his evangelical Christian wife, Janet Museveni, who preaches abstinence.

Kenya, which had a tourist industry to protect, was slow to acknowledge the epidemic in the 1980s and slower still to act. But it was quicker than Uganda to recognise that generalised behaviour change campaigns were failing and it was essential to tackle the disease in key groups such as sex workers, fishermen, truckers, men who have sex with men and injecting drug users. The result has been a steady fall in new infections in Kenya, one of the great success stories on the continent. Yet even here, 100,000 people are becoming newly infected with HIV each year, almost twice as many as are going on treatment with ARVs. I heard the same phrase repeated endlessly on my journey – “you cannot mop the floor with the tap still running. “In Uganda, Kenya, Malawi and Zambia 80-100 per cent of Aids funds come from donors. Without further big reductions in new infections the situation is unsustainable. “We have to try and switch this disease off,” said Dr Clement Chela, director-general of the National Aids Council, in Zambia.

In Nairobi, Pamela, a sex worker, showed us one way that might be achieved. She led us on a winding route through foetid alleyways in the centre of the city to the Somerset Club, an anonymous doorway under an illuminated sign for Tusker beer.

At the top of a flight of stone steps, five women in short skirts and tight trousers sat on a row of chairs, waiting for customers. A tall elegant woman descending from an upper floor grabbed my crotch as she passed. “Muzungu (white man),” she yelled, cackling with laughter. As we stood chatting to Wilfred, the manager, a chewed matchstick between his lips, there was a sudden flurry of business. The women appeared leading their clients – one a bald man leaning on a crutch – calling to Wilfred as they passed, who handed each two condoms and a piece of tissue, before they disappeared into the bolted cubicles beyond. It was an impressive demonstration of safe sex– and a world away from the brothels of Kasensero.

Prostitution is a feature of every city in the world, but in Africa it has exploded in the last decade, driven by a growing economy and the power imbalance between men and women. There are an estimated 45,000 sex workers in Nairobi and as the numbers have increased the price of sex has fallen. In Kampala, prostitutes line the streets near the Speke Hotel and sell sex for as little as 3,000 Ugandan shillings (75 pence). Other countries are witnessing the same trend. “Sex workers are growing,” said Frank Chimbandwira, head of HIV at the Ministry of Health in Malawi. “Mines are opening, roads are being built, men have cash to buy sex – the development agenda brings risks,” said Dr Clement Chela head of HIV in Zambia. “There has been a mushrooming of sex work,” said Maria Sibanyoni, head of the sex workers programme at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

Despite these trends, among some groups HIV infection rates are sharply down. In Nairobi, the first clinic for sex workers opened in 1985, and there are now nine across the city offering free condoms, HIV testing and treatment. The incidence of new infections has more than halved since 2005.

Crucial to the success of the strategy has been the recognition, which has been slow to dawn, that professionals are no good for giving advice. They are not listened to. Inroads into the HIV epidemic in Africa have only begun to be made with the appointment of ‘peer educators” – members of the target community who have been trained to pass on the message to their peers. Pamela, is a respected peer educator, and is known and trusted on her patch. Aged 39, she has a round face and gentle demeanour. Two minutes after leaving the Somerset Club we are sitting with another sex worker, Mary, in Modern Green, a higher class establishment round the corner. It is 5pm and a dozen women in clinging dresses and earrings, showing cleavage and thigh, are sitting at tables in the dingy upstairs bar.

I buy Mary a Guinness, her second. She says she can drink nine. I pick up the bottle looking for the alcohol content. “6.7 per cent” she shoots back at me, smiling. She has on a red dress, red earrings and is smart and well spoken. She is 28 and has been a sex worker for five years. Does she use condoms? “Of course”. She fixes me with a look of horror. “No condom, no sex.” Behind her a drunk man is fondling a woman who is studiedly ignoring him and reading the paper – until he produces his money. Sex here costs 500 shillings (£4) plus 300 shillings (£2.30) for a room, for ten minutes.

After we leave I ask Pamela about the “no condom, no sex,” claim. It depends, she says, on whether the client or the sex worker are drunk (often both) or whether the client is offering more money for “live sex,” a common demand. “If they are very drunk, they don’t care,” she says. Yet there is little doubt of the value of what she is doing. Peer educators are now being used across the continent – “expert mothers” trained to promote antenatal care, “expert patients” to advise on treatment with anti-retroviral drugs, “community mobilisers” to bring men for male circumcision, and sex workers like Pamela to promote regular HIV testing, treatment for STIs and condom use. Nothing can be achieved in Africa’s intensely hierarchical society without peer educators.

But while Kenya has done a good job with its marginal populations like sex workers, the challenge remains how to reduce infection rates in the general population where the bulk of transmission occurs. Most sex workers are infected not by their clients but by their long term partners, when condoms have been dropped. It is the same in the general population – condoms may be fine for casual affairs but their use in a long term relationship signals mistrust. “It is love and trust that makes women vulnerable. Love is the problem,” says Jane Thiomi, manager at LVCT, a Kenyan HIV organisation.

In Kenyan society, as across the continent, it is accepted that men will have more than one partner – and the wealthier they are the more mistresses they will support. “Even when the mistress is exposed and the wife goes to her mother to complain, the question the mother will ask is: Is he taking care of you? [Infidelity] is not taken seriously,” says Ms Thiomi. The frequency of multiple overlapping partnerships is said to be what distinguishes sexual behaviour in sub-Saharan Africa from the rest of the world – and is a key driver of the heterosexual epidemic. Yet its lethal consequences are ignored. A recent advertising campaign urging straying lovers to be careful with the catchline: “Weka condom mpangoni!” (Put a condom in that relationship) was banned after protests from church-based organisations. “Kenyans are very sexually active, but they don’t talk about it,” said Ms Thiomi.

Few believe sexual behaviour in this regard has changed. With economies growing, more men are able to afford mistresses. While Western leaders proclaim the end of Aids, the drivers of the epidemic in Africa are working in the opposite direction.

At the same time, the forces constraining sex have lessened. In the early years of the epidemic behaviour changed because terror stalked the streets. Those infected became walking skeletons covered in sores who died horribly - and people were going to funerals every weekend. “Now people on treatment are completely healthy. We struggle to explain the dangers to young people who have grown up with HIV – there has been a complete change,” said Peter Kyambade, head of the sexually transmitted disease clinic at Mulago Hospital, Kampala.

Like everyone I met in Uganda he blamed the upsurge in infections in that country on complacency – and warned other countries that they should ignore Uganda’s experience at their peril. HIV had been transformed from a lethal infection with only one outcome into a treatable disease, like diabetes. It was no longer feared as it once had been. “The disease has been with us a long time. People are relaxed. The focus has been majorly on putting people on antiretroviral drugs. We need to focus on prevention again. If other countries don’t address this issue they will face the same challenge. Their advantage is they can learn from us. We need to go back to our communities and intensify our campaigns. We need to remind them: It is not over yet.”

The falling price of sex

As the number of sex workers grows, the prices they can command fall. Sex at the Somerset Club in Nairobi , a low grade joint, costs 200 Kenyan shillings (£1.75) for ten minutes. “Sex work is the only thriving business,” said a manager at the Sex Workers Outreach Project, which runs nine clinics in the city.

It is the same story in Kampala. Sex that used to cost 15,000 - 20,000 Uganda shillings (£3.75-£5) now costs 3,000 (75 pence), according to Kyomya Macklean, a former sex worker and human rights activist. In Kisumu, Kenya’s third largest city on the eastern shore of Lake Victoria, which has the highest HIV rate in in the country, the price for sex fluctuates. It falls sharply in April, August and December, when the schools are closed and teenage girls take to the streets to top up their mobile phones and pay for essentials like sanitary pads. “At those times the market becomes flooded,” said Jared Omnudo, Field Co-ordinator at Impact, a local HIV charity.

The writer’s trip was funded by a no-strings grant from the European Journalism Centre
Source: The Independent UK.

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 Post subject: Re: South Africa and sex
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:17 am 
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Crisis in South Africa: The shocking practice of 'corrective rape' - aimed at 'curing' lesbians
by Patrick Strudwick
Saturday, 4 January 2014

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Pearl Mali, left, with her girlfriend, Hlomela. Clare Carter/Contact Press Images

Mvuleni Fana was walking down a quiet alleyway in Springs – 30 miles east of Johannesburg – on her way home from football practice one evening when four men surrounded her and dragged her back to the football stadium.

She recognised her attackers. One by one, the men raped her, beating her unconscious and leaving her for dead. The next morning, Mvuleni came round, bleeding, battered, in shock, and taunted by one overriding memory – the last thing they said to her before she passed out: "After everything we're going to do to you, you're going to be a real woman, and you're never going to act like this again".

Corrective rape is a hate crime wielded to convert lesbians to heterosexuality – an attempt to 'cure' them of being gay. The term was coined in South Africa in the early 2000s when charity workers first noticed an influx of such attacks. But despite recognition and international coverage, corrective rape in the region is escalating in severity, according to Clare Carter, the photographer behind these images. This is amid a backdrop of parts of the country "becoming more homophobic", as one recent victim asserts.

Compared to many of South Africa's victims, Mvuleni was lucky: she survived. At least 31 women in the past 15 years did not. In 2007, to cite one incident, Sizakele Sigasa, a women's and gay rights activist, and her friend Salone Massooa, were outside a bar when a group of men started heckling and calling them tomboys. The women were gang raped, tortured, tied up with their underwear and shot in the head. Executed. No one was ever convicted.

Mvuleni's case was also unusual as, unlike 24 out of 25 rapes that even reach trial in South Africa, two of her attackers were convicted and imprisoned for 25 years. The others remain at large.

Ever since a 1998-2000 report by the United Nations Office on Crime and Drugs ranked South Africa as highest for rapes per capita, it has repeatedly been described as the rape capital of the world: 500,000 rapes a year; one every 17 seconds; one in every two women will be raped in her lifetime. Twenty per cent of men say the victim "asked for it", according to a survey by the anti-violence NGO, CIET. A quarter of men in the Eastern Cape Provinces, when asked anonymously by the Medical Research Council, admitted to raping at least once – three quarters of whom said their victim was under 20, a tenth said under 10. A quarter of schoolboys in Soweto described "jackrolling" – the local term for gang rape – as "fun".

Clare Carter's photographs of the victims of 'corrective rape'

Although statistics for corrective rape have not been compiled nationally, one support group in Cape Town told ActionAid researchers in 2009 they deal with 10 new cases every week.

Clare Carter left her home in New York City in 2011 to photograph South Africa's corrective rape victims. Horrified at the magnitude of the problem, she spent two years there, finding those affected and gaining their trust. In total, Carter photographed 45 survivors, hearing their stories and piecing together the mosaic forces fuelling the crime by interviewing priests and NGO workers, gay rights activists and family members. She also met with rapists. Carter's investigation – the most comprehensive of its kind – brought her right across the country, zigzagging from Durban and Johannesburg to Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, from some of the smartened-up townships replete with tourist-pleasing government housing, to shack-stuffed rural sprawls.

"Even in the two years I was there the stories I was hearing were getting worse," she says. "Corrective rape is getting more violent." Indeed, when we meet in London, Carter produces transcripts of interviews with the survivors she photographed, which more often than not refer to knives, stones and sticks being used. One woman describes being anally raped by a gang brandishing a broom handle.

There is one testimony in particular that stands out, from a young woman called Pearl Mali. Carter was introduced to her by Funeka Soldaat, who runs Free Gender, an LGBT rights organisation that specialises in helping victims of corrective rapes. Free Gender have "no phone, no computer, no money, no counsellors, nothing, except Funeka's house". Pearl is now 21 and volunteers there. She was 12 when it happened.

Her mother suspected Pearl might be a lesbian as she was a "tomboy" and so one day her mother returned home from church with an "old man". Pearl doesn't know what conversation had taken place, only that "there was money involved". Her mother told her to go to her room. "She said if I don't do what is right I won't get my lunch tomorrow." The man entered her bedroom. "He locked my door and I was in my pyjamas about to get in bed and he told me how beautiful I was, how fast I am growing." He said he was going to sleep there with her, and started slapping Pearl, who screamed, bringing her mother to the door. "She said, 'Pearl you are making noise, shut up'. He told me to take off my clothes and I refused. He beat me – I was fighting him but he overpowered me and raped me."

The next morning, Pearl's mother acted normally, and soon after asked him to move in. For the next four years he regularly raped Pearl, as her de-facto husband, to make her straight. She tried going to the police, but they started "laughing" when she said the most recent rape was last week. They expect women to come immediately.

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Pearl Mali, who was 'correctively' raped at the age of 12, photographed in Khayelitsha, Cape Town (Clare Carter/Contact Press Images)

Pearl became pregnant by him at 16, prompting her to go to the police again, who this time imposed a restraining order against the man. But days after giving birth, her abuser came to the house while she was alone with the baby. "He wanted to touch me again so I was fighting and fighting [him]. He kicked me on my waist and all the stitches got loose." Though she successfully fought him off, Pearl's troubles soon spiralled. "My mum and this guy took the baby away when he was seven months old because I was still a lesbian." Her mother believed that if Pearl touched and fed the boy "it will make him gay". Pearl moved out and went to court to gain access, but three years later, she is still trying to win custody and is currently only allowed to visit her son at weekends. "I used to sleep under a bridge, not eat, just cry. I hanged myself; it was on a Monday. I took pills, took alcohol, drank cleaning appliances and then hanged myself. But God said, 'It is not your time'."

Familial collusion in corrective rape is common, according to Carter. Simphiwe Thandeka, from Pietermaritzburg (the capital city of the conservative, fervently Christian province of KwaZulu-Natal) was 13, and a "tomboy", when a male relation started asking, "Why do you dress like this?". He raped her in bed one night, putting a pillowcase over her mouth. "He told me to keep quiet. At the time I didn't know it was rape."

When she told her mother the next day – because she was bleeding heavily – her mother replied that it is a "family matter", and neglected to tell Simphiwe that the man is HIV positive. Simphiwe only discovered she had contracted the virus – a common outcome for such victims – three years later when she became pregnant by the man's friend, whom he had tried to marry her off to in a final attempt to "correct" her sexuality. After repeatedly raping and beating her with a coat hanger, the friend sent Simphiwe back to her uncle, realising she would never be heterosexual and they would therefore never "get on". Soon, however, she was pregnant. She called her baby Happiness.

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Happiness and Blessing, Simphiwe Thandeka's children born from two of her attacks, photographed in Ashdown, Pietermaritzburg (Clare Carter/Contact Press Images)

Now a mother, a local man told a friend of Simphiwe's that he was attracted to her, but the friend informed him that she liked women. "He told her, 'I'll prove this girl is not a man, but is a girl'. I was scared. He came to my home, he said he wanted to apologise for what he told my friend, but then he blocked me with his hand. He raped me in the dining room." This time she went to the police but "they take his side... so nothing I can say or do". She called her second child Blessing.

Of all the countries in the continent, South Africa should be the least likely to be tarnished by homophobic hate crimes. Its 1997 constitution was the first in the world to secure the equal rights of LGBT people and a flurry of laws followed preventing workplace discrimination and, in 2005, allowing gay marriage.

"The constitution is there but it doesn't mean anything to anyone," says Funeka, who founded Free Gender after being correctively gang raped and stabbed multiple times ("My body was there, but I was far, far away," she says). "Even if you know how the constitution works, you don't know how to use it to protect yourself. If you don't have money you don't have access to the justice system. Violence in the townships is normal. Homosexuality is [seen as] un-African. Patriarchy is everywhere. The way religious leaders read scripture is painful. Children start raping at 14, 15 and take pictures. We're sitting on a time bomb."

One such religious leader is Reverend Oscar Peter Bougardt, a senior pastor in the Mitchell's Plain township, 20 miles from Cape Town. "Homosexuals can change," he told Carter. "Homosexuality is a curse... a wicked influence... they come after our young people. Any clergy or priest that approves [of] homosexuality is from the pit of hell."

David Hessey, who works for the Gay and Lesbian Association, also blames the courts for failing to deal with corrective rape cases. "It is not treated as a serious offence. We are awaiting the sentencing of a corrective rape case – a father raped his daughter's girlfriend to 'cure' her and he has been convicted – but it took two years to get the case to court and this is fast for South Africa. Most take six years which is why most people don't report it." Witnesses are often disregarded in court, as even seeing and hearing a victim screaming is deemed "hearsay, as the woman may be screaming in pleasure and this may be the way they like having sex".

The police routinely have neither the resources nor inclination to investigate. Leonie Spalding, aged 37, says when she came out to her husband he correctively raped her, but the police officer on duty was a friend of her husband's who took her home, asked the husband what happened, to which he replied he was "just doing what any man should do and show me my place as a woman". No charge was brought. In the testimonies collected by Carter, the most common reaction from police to corrective rape is laughter. But she cites a litany of causes for the phenomenon.

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Mvuleni stands in the alley where she was abducted (Clare Carter/Contact Press Images)

"A lot of people are outraged that gay people have equal rights, and are becoming more angry as gay people become more visible," she says. "It's a deeply patriarchal country – men are numero uno in the townships – and use corrective rape as a tool to assert their masculinity, all while egging each other on. Combine that with a lack of education, high unemployment leading to mass boredom, frustration and problems with drink and drugs and you have a perfect storm for patriarchal sadism. And because the police and courts do nothing there's no consequence to corrective rape, which normalises it. It's not seen as a big thing."

Many have argued that the shadow cast by apartheid has a part to play, but it would be wrong to suggest that corrective rape is only South Africa's scourge. I also speak to three women seeking asylum in Britain to hear their stories.

Patricia, aged 40, fled Nigeria after "one of the guys in my area raped me to make me straight. I told my family, and he admitted it, but they didn't do anything because they didn't want to bring any shame on the family".

Belinda, aged 48, left Jamaica after being targeted for her sexuality. "My brother belonged to a gang and he heard that they were going to rape me," she tells me. "One morning I was on my way to work and a guy tried to hold on to me and rape me. I managed to fight my way off knowing full well I couldn't report it to the police."

Lillian, aged 26, from the Republic of Cabinda (formerly a province of Angola) says: "The men will rape you so you can taste how good it is to sleep with a man. They gonna really rape you badly to teach you a lesson – they think if they do that you will forget who you are."

Before leaving South Africa, Carter went to a taxi rank near Pietermaritzburg where she was told there were men who admit to corrective rape. She filmed them. "If we want to finish lesbians and gays they must be forcefully raped," says one, grinning at the camera. "A man must go back to his manhood. Women must be women. She must be ready and willing to have sex."

"They must be raped so that their gay and lesbian behaviour can come out," adds another.

The third raises his voice, points two fingers at his temple and concludes: "This gay and lesbian thing must end. I say bang bang bang!"

All South African interviews by Clare Carter
Source: Independent UK.

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 Post subject: Re: South Africa and sex
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:07 pm 
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Gay Nigerians targeted as 'un-African'
By Chika Oduah
January 26, 2014

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Ifeanyi Orazulike

Abuja, Nigeria - Fourteen years ago, at the age of 19, Ifeanyi Orazulike could no longer ignore his affections for men.

"I had these funny feelings that I could not explain," he says. As the feelings evolved into a full-fledged attraction for the same sex, Orazulike, for the first time in his life, began exploring his sexuality, as a student in a university in south-east Nigeria. "I sexually experimented," he says. "But I wasn't sure if I wanted to live as a homosexual." Today, 33-year-old Orazulike is confident in his orientation. But here in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, Orazulike knows that his identity as a gay Nigerian is under attack.

After news broke that President Goodluck Jonathan had on January 7 signed the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition bill, unanimously approved by lawmakers in May 2013, Orazulike joined activists in Abuja to develop strategies to protect the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Questioning/Queer) community.

They conducted a series of meetings to discuss the law - that Human Rights Watch described as a "sweeping and dangerous piece of legislation" - which recommends penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment for same-sex couples who publicly show affection, and for members of organisations who assist gay people. Same sex unions are punishable by a 14-year prison sentence.

While condemned by the likes of the United Nations and the European Union, the law is praised by a majority of Nigerians, who have united under a banner of patriotism and what many perceive as a fight against Western imperialism. The president's spokesperson reportedly stated that the law "reflects the religious and cultural preferences of the Nigerian people".

The scorn that Orazulike now faces from Nigerians assaults his identity as a Nigerian. "People say I've been bewitched by the Western world," he says. "I will not denounce my nationality because of my sexuality." The public debate on homosexuality goes beyond nationality. It has now become a controversial argument on Africa versus the Western world, with people such as Orazulike caught in the middle.

'Un-African'

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's well-publicised rejection of gay people being "worse than pigs or dogs" and homosexuality as an import from Western societies has been coupled with similar assertions from the Ugandan MP David Bahati who brought forward a 2009 bill in Kampala. The Ugandan proposal was reportedly inspired by Christian conservatives from the United States, most notably the embattled pastor Scott Lively - who is facing a lawsuit for his alleged involvement in "Kill the Gays" campaigns in Uganda. They argue that homosexuality had no history in pre-colonial Africa and goes against African traditions.

Stories of homophobia in Uganda regularly feature in news headlines. President Yoweri Museveni has not yet endorsed a bill passed by lawmakers last month that would further criminalise homosexuality with life imprisonment sentences - and punishments for those who fail to "report" homosexuals. "He has rejected the bill, but will reinforce the hate - saying that gays are abnormal," says Patience Akumu, a Ugandan journalist. "He says these are abnormalities from the Western world, so he is saying things that Ugandans want to hear."

In Nigeria, where a man was reportedly lashed 20 times earlier this month after confessing to homosexual acts committed seven years ago, 26-year-old Yinka - who requested her last name not be published - reacted with outrage to being labelled "un-African" on account of her lesbianism. "It's something that is on the inside. It's not like a 2014 thing. It's something that's on the inside. So it's not going to ever go away," she says. Patience lives with her partner in the country's commercial hub, Lagos. She had always admired her female schoolmates - but was "too afraid to come out to tell them", she said, revealing that she discovered lesbian pornography around the age of 13, while attending boarding school. "I am who I am. This is me," she says.

A 2013 Pew survey that interviewed adult Nigerians found that 98 percent of respondents agreed that homosexuality "should not be accepted into society". Amnesty International reported that 16 African countries do not have criminal laws against homosexuality, whereas 38 have made it illegal.

In Cameroon, anti-gay panic broke out in 2006 when three newspapers, La Météo, L'Anecdote and Le Soleil d'Afrique, began publishing names of people believed to be gay.

Meanwhile, Senegal was once touted as one of the most tolerant countries in Africa. But the rhetoric coming from national politicians here too, speaks of preserving "the national integrity" as a way of excluding same-sex relationships from "accepted cultural practices". "We don't ask the Europeans to be polygamists," President Macky Sall told US President Barack Obama in 2013. "We like polygamy in our country, but we can't impose it in yours. Because the people won't understand it. They won't accept it. It's the same thing." Corpses of gay people have been exhumed from graveyards across Senegal, with anti-gay activists stating the dead bodies were desecrating cemeteries.

Back in Uganda, the outspoken pastor, Martin Ssempa, re-emphasised the "un-African" stance: "For us, it's a human vice. For them, it's a human right."

Expressions of African homosexuality

But scholars such as Marc Epprecht, a professor of history and cultural studies at Queen's University in Canada, denounce the idea of homosexuality being "un-African". "Who gets to say who is an African? All these things have been politicised," Epprecht told Al Jazeera. His field work in Zimbabwe, which culminated in an oft-cited book, Hungochani: The History Of A Dissident Sexuality In Southern Africa, led him to conclude that homosexuality in southern Africa had been demonstrated in varying forms over the centuries, and often held mystical connotations. "Some people say they have the spirit of an ancestor of the opposite sex, so they cannot marry," he said.

Nkunzi Zandile Nkabinde, a South African sangoma (traditional healer) told her story in a 2009 autobiography - in which she describes being possessed by the spirit of a deceased male ancestor. A lesbian, she attributes both her sexual orientation and healing powers to the personality of the spirit that lives inside her.

Historically, the expression of homosexuality varied throughout Africa.

"Being gay in South Africa is not the same as being gay in Cameroon," says Patrick Awondo, a Cameroonian scholar at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. For example, a pre-colonial tradition named the mevengu, carried out by the Beti people in Cameroon led women to gather and perform erotic behaviour together. "This is why the ritual was stopped by French colonialists and Christian missionaries," says Awondo, who studied the custom for his doctoral dissertation. "One very important part of the ritual was the celebration of the clitoris. It was a kind of inversion of the male power, with women celebrating their sexuality." Though customs like the mevengu are disappearing in Africa, remnants of such long-held homosexual patterns linger.

In northern Nigeria, the yan daudu - men who often appear dressed as women - are famed for their playfulness and sexual ambiguity. "It's my belief that many of them are in fact gay or bisexual somehow, but they do not come out about it," says Rudolf Gaudio, who interacted with the yan daudu between the early 1990s and the early 2000s, while conducting research for his acclaimed book, Allah Made Us: Sexual Outlaws In An Islamic African City.

Further west, Ivory Coast's Abidjan and Senegal's Dakar were once known as gay hotspots, attracting large crowds to their nightclubs and parties, said Awondo. In Senegal, a minority group of men - known as gor digen, meaning "man-woman" in Wolof - sometimes dressed as women and worked as prostitutes. "They were very famous and were used by politicians in public events," he says, noting the gor digen were around before and during the colonial era, and have only recently begun going into hiding.

Rock paintings by the Khoisan Bushmen, reportedly dating back at least 2,000 years, which illustrate same-sex sexual acts have also been noted.

Politics of gay identity

With such evidence of same-sex customs in Africa, scholars strongly refute the "un-African" argument of homosexuality, but often admit that the political identification of homosexuality is fairly new in Africa. Epprecht says gay people in Africa today are making their sexual orientation "a political statement", which may indeed be a more Western influence. Historically, sexuality tended to be a private matter here. Now, African societies are grappling with the openness of sexuality in contemporary culture. These contemporary trends contribute to the rising criminalisation of same-sex relationships, paving the path for bills such as Nigeria's latest.

Activists say the new legislation threatens the human rights of many Nigerians, and could result in cases of blackmail, extortion, and Nigerians pretending to be gay in order to seek asylum in foreign countries on grounds of persecution. "Nigerians are opportunists," Orazulike says. "They were filing for asylum before. How much now?"

Even Yinka's partner suggested that they file for asylum, but Yinka decided to stay to see how things play out - hoping that, maybe someday, Nigeria would tolerate people like her. She stands by her identity as an African, lesbian woman. "I enjoy being with females," she says. "I enjoy being with my partner. I can't live without her."

Source: Yahoo! Al Jazeera.

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 Post subject: Re: South Africa and sex
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:13 pm 
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South African traditional leaders attack graphic male circumcision website
by David Smith
Wednesday, 29 January 2014

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The website aims to reveal the "dark secrets" of the circumcision ritual undergone by teenage boys from the Xhosa group.
Photograph: Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images

A Dutch doctor in South Africa has published graphic images of penises mutilated during botched circumcision ceremonies, angering community leaders who accuse him of meddling in their culture.

Dr Dingeman Rijken said he had set up a website to reveal the "dark secrets of the ritual" because traditional leaders had shown "shocking" indifference and incompetence to the annual toll of death and injury. The leaders have condemned Rijken for breaking a cultural taboo and reported his site to South Africa's Film and Publication Board, demanding it be shut down.

Every year thousands of teenage boys from the Xhosa group embark on a secretive rite of passage in Eastern Cape province, spending up to a month in the bush to study, undergo circumcision by a traditional surgeon and apply white clay to their bodies. While many initiation schools are officially sanctioned, others are unregulated and allow bogus surgeons to operate with unsterilised blades. According to Rijken, who works in the region, 825 boys have died from complications since 1995 and many more have suffered from what he calls male genital mutilation.

Explaining his reasons for going public, Rijken writes: "Winter 2012. Groups of young boys with white faces were brought out of a secret dark world into glaring hospital lights. Sunken eyes from dehydration, flaky skin from malnourishment, bagged eyes from sleep deprivation. Frequently you would smell the rotting when they were walking past. I spend many hours cleaning their wounds, trying to insert urinary catheters in their botched penis, battling to explain 17-year-olds that they had lost their manhood." He adds that, following another "catastrophic" winter season in 2013, and with traditional leaders unlikely to make a positive change, he chose to go to the media and set up the site "to inform prospective initiates and the broader community about the dark secrets of the ritual".

Graphic images show severely disfigured, infected or amputated genitals on the website, ulwaluko.co.za, named after the Xhosa language word for initiation into manhood. Visitors are told: "Please be warned that this website contains graphic medical images of penile disfigurement under 'complications' and 'photos'. You may only enter this website if you are 13 years of age or older."

But critics argue that Rijken has betrayed their culture and should have handled the matter differently. Nkululeko Nxesi, from the Community Development Foundation of South Africa, told the AFP news agency: "That website must be shut down with immediate effect. He should respect the cultural principles and processes of this nation." Patekile Holomisa, a former leader of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa, took a similar view. He told AFP: "We condemn the exposure of this ritual to people who do not practise it. Women should not see what happens at initiations."

The Film and Publications Board has restricted the website for under-13s but ruled that it is a "bona fide scientific publication with great educative value". It added: "The website highlights the malice that bedevils this rich cultural practice. It does not condemn this rich cultural practice but makes a clear plea for it to be regulated so that deaths do not occur."

Source: Guardian UK.

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 Post subject: Re: South Africa and sex
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:56 am 
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New gay rights party to stand in S. African elections
February 1, 2014

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A group of people from the gay, lesbian and transgender community in South Africa demonstrate outside the Parliament in Cape Town, on May 19, 2012
(AFP Photo/Rodger Bosch)

Johannesburg (AFP) - A new party that will defend gays and lesbians against violence and persecution will stand in South Africa's elections this year, its spokesman said Saturday.

"We need a voice in parliament to protect women from being raped because people want to cure them from being lesbians," Michael Herbst of the Equal Rights Party told AFP. "We need someone in parliament when boys are bullied at school because they are thought to be gay," said the retired professor of health studies at the University of South Africa. "South Africa has one of the most beautiful constitutions that guarantees the rights of the people who are lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, et cetera. But in reality, it doesn't work well," he said.

While homosexuality is widely accepted in mainly white parts of Johannesburg and Cape Town, it remains taboo in many rural areas and in working-class black townships. While gay marriage has been recognised since 2006, gays and lesbians are regularly killed because of their lifestyle. Lesbians in the townships are often victims of "corrective rape".

Herbst also said lawmakers for the new party would have a platform for speaking out against violations of gay rights in countries such as Russia, Nigeria and Uganda. Asked what he thought the party's chances were in the elections slated for the second half of the year, Herbst said: "We can definitively make it."

The National Assembly's 400 seats are awarded proportionally, and the smallest party in the current parliament won fewer than 36,000 votes -- some 0.2 percent -- in 2009 elections.

Source: Yahoo! AFP.

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 Post subject: Re: South Africa and sex
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:59 am 
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No sex please, we're parliamentarians: S.Africa's ANC
May 28, 2014

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Members of Parliament, ministers, and President Jacob Zuma pose for a group photo at the South African parliament in Cape Town, on May 21, 2014
(AFP Photo/Sumaya Hisham)

Cape Town (AFP) - South Africa's ruling ANC on Wednesday protested the opening of a sex shop near parliament in Cape Town, saying it could undermine the "integrity and standing" of the legislature.

Adult World, a countrywide chain, has unveiled its red and yellow sign at a small shop squeezed between two cheap fast-food joints in Plein Street, a bustling but down-at-heel road opposite the parliament complex.

"The opening of such (a) store within the vicinity of the houses of parliament does not augur well for the integrity and standing of such a constitutional body," the African National Congress said in a statement issued by its chief whip. The ANC said that since the end of the racial system of apartheid in 1994 parliament had been "transformed into an open and accessible institution", which daily welcomes scores of visitors including schoolchildren, religious groups and tourists. "Having stores of this nature next to parliament may offend certain people’s moral sensibilities or belief systems," the party said.

During the apartheid years, when South Africa was run by ultra-conservative white Afrikaners, sex shops were banned altogether. The ANC demanded that the official opposition Democratic Alliance,which controls Cape Town, explain its decision to allow the shop to open.

Adult World CEO Francois Joubert said the company is "not willing to give any comments on this matter at this stage".

Source: Yahoo! AFP.

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 Post subject: Re: South Africa and sex
PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:22 pm 
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World's first successful penis transplant performed in S. Africa
By Kristen Van Schie
13 March 2015

Johannesburg (AFP) - South African doctors announced Friday that they had performed the world's first successful penis transplant, three months after the ground-breaking operation.

The 21-year-old patient had his penis amputated three years ago after a botched circumcision at a traditional initiation ceremony. In a nine-hour operation at the Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town, he received his new penis from a deceased donor, whose family were praised by doctors.

"We've proved that it can be done –- we can give someone an organ that is just as good as the one that he had," said Professor Frank Graewe, head of plastic reconstructive surgery at Stellenbosch University. "It was a privilege to be part of this first successful penis transplant in the world."

Doctors say the man, whose identity has not been disclosed, has made a full recovery since the operation on December 11 and has regained all urinary and reproductive functions. "Our goal was that he would be fully functional at two years and we are very surprised by his rapid recovery," said Professor Andre van der Merwe, head of Stellenbosch's urology division.

Van der Merwe, who normally performs kidney transplants, told the BBC News website: "This is definitely much more difficult, the blood vessels are 1.5 mm wide. In the kidney it can be 1 cm." The team used some of the techniques that had been developed to perform the first face transplants in order to connect the tiny blood vessels and nerves.

In 2006, a Chinese man had a penis transplant but his doctors removed the organ after two weeks due to "a severe psychological problem of the recipient and his wife".

Scores of South African teenage boys and young men have their penises amputated each year after botched circumcisions during rite-of-passage ceremonies. "There is a greater need in South Africa for this type of procedure than elsewhere in the world," Van der Merwe said in a statement.

Dangerous rituals

African teenagers from some ethnic groups spend about a month in secluded bush or mountain regions as part of their initiation to manhood. The experience includes circumcision as well as lessons on masculine courage and discipline.

A commission last year found 486 boys had died at the winter initiation schools between 2008 and 2013, with a major cause being complications such as infection after circumcision. "For a young man of 18 or 19 years, the loss of his penis can be deeply traumatic," said Van der Merwe. "He doesn't necessarily have the psychological capability to process this. There are even reports of suicide among these young men."

Van der Merwe described the anonymous donor and his family as "the heroes" of the story. "They saved the lives of many people because they donated the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, skin, corneas and then the penis," he said.

The South African team included three senior doctors, transplant coordinators, anaesthetists, theatre nurses, a psychologist and an ethicist. Surgeons from Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital had searched extensively for a suitable donor as part of a pilot study to develop penis transplants in Africa.

Some techniques were developed from the first facial transplant in France in 2005. They now plan to perform nine more similar operations.

South Africa has long been a pioneer of transplant surgery. In 1967, Chris Barnard performed the world's first heart transplant at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town.

The Chinese man who rejected his new penis in 2006 received his transplant after parents of a brain-dead man agreed to donate their son's organ.

Source: Yahoo! AFP

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 Post subject: Re: South Africa and sex
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:27 pm 
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Safe sex in South Africa: Free scented condoms distributed in new anti-HIV campaign
By Morgan Winsor
28 July 2015

As part of its newly launched safe sex campaign, the South African Department of Health plans to distribute 3 billion scented male condoms, 54 million female condoms and 60 million lubricant packets during the next three years. The rebranded condoms and lube will be dispensed to 4,000 sites nationwide and will cost South African taxpayers 3.5 billion rand, or $279 million, according to independent news source the Conversation.

The South African health department has redesigned its safe sex campaign in an effort to meet its targeted goal of slashing in half HIV/ADS, tuberculosis and STD infections by 2016. South Africa has one of the world’s target goal of slashing in half HIV/ADS, tuberculosis and STD infections by 2016. South Africa has one of the world’s highest incidences of HIV. The country has seen an increase in HIV infections among young adults over the past few years, as well as a decrease in condom use across all age groups.

Giving out free condoms in South Africa is nothing new, but the government was hoping to attract students and youth across the country with the rebranded condoms, which now come in different colors and scents. South African youth have often viewed the standard contraception as unappealing, and the health department’s free condom campaign was vilified in 2007 when millions of government-supplied free condoms were deemed decrease in condom use across all age groups, according to Erica Penfold, a research fellow at the South African Institute of International Affairs.

“This legacy could compromise the effectiveness of the new condom campaign. Young people who are aware of the recall may not want to use even the rebranded free condoms, foregoing safe sex for unprotected sex in the belief that the condoms may not work anyway,” Penfold wrote Tuesday in an op-ed for the Conversation. “Will it work? Only time will tell.”

Sub-Saharan Africa, which includes South Africa and every other country south of the Sahara Desert, has the most severe HIV-AIDS epidemic in the world. More than two-thirds or 70 percent of all people living with the illness live in sub-Saharan Africa, including 88 percent of the world's HIV-positive children, according to amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research.

In March, South Africa’s health minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced the government would hand out 50 million multi-scented condoms which were brightly colored and available in strawberry, grape and banana. “I hope that you find this condom more appealing and will use them,” Motsoaledi said in a speech in Cape Town, according to local News24.

Source: International Business Times

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 Post subject: Re: South Africa and sex
PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:21 pm 
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Three women rape South African man for three days after drugging and kidnapping him
By Luke Barnes
29 May 2017

A South African man was left traumatized after being drugged and raped 'numerous' times over three days by three female assailants.

The 23-year-old's ordeal began when he hailed down a communal taxi in eastern Pretoria on Friday - which had three young women inside. The taxi began to change direction and the man, from Nellmapius‚ east of Pretoria, was ordered to sit in the front. He was then injected within an unknown substance and passed out, TimesLive reported.

South African Police Service Captain Colette Weilbach said: 'He stated that he woke up in an unfamiliar room on a single bed. The female suspects then allegedly forced the man to drink an energy drink before taking turns raping him numerous times a day. The South African Police Service take all sexual offences seriously regardless of gender. [We assure] all victims of these types of crimes that we will carry out robust investigations to bring offenders to justice.'

The victim was later dumped semi-naked in a field, where he managed to flag down a passing car. He was left very traumatised by his ordeal and received medical treatment‚ Captain Weilbach said.

Rape and sexual violence against both men and women are at epidemic levels in South Africa. It is estimated that more than half-a-million rapes are committed annually in the country.

Rees Mann, of the South African Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse, said nearly 20 per cent of sexual violations reported were on men. He said: 'Male victims are much less likely than females to report sexual abuse because police don't take it seriously.'

Source: Daily Mail UK

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