Call to end discrimination against people with albinism

Thursday, November 30, 2023

The Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities has joined the National Albinism Task Force of South Africa (NATF) in calling for the end of discrimination, hostility and violence against people with albinism.

The call was made ahead of the court appearance of South African traditional healer Bongolethu “Dr Khehlelezi” Mzozo over a video shared on YouTube in April 2023 that spreads misinformation about people with albinism.

Following the release of the video, in line with Section 20 of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 2000 (PEPUDA) (No 4, 2000), the Thembisilemadlala Albinism Foundation, supported by the NATF, lodged a case with the Equality Court against Khehlelezi, arguing that the video was discriminatory and amounts to “hate speech” against people with albinism.

While the case involving Khehlelezi is the issue at hand, the department noted there is a more significant need for addressing discrimination and hate speech against people with albinism. 

The department said the approach by the NATF, in collaboration with the KwaZulu-Natal Sport, Arts and Culture is to initiate stakeholder engagement conversations, with the aim of having a National Safety Plan for Persons with Albinism.

The department said it has since begun working closely to collaborate with the NATF and Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (KZN) to initiate the conversation by facilitating the first Social Cohesion Community Outreach programme. 

“The programme aims to raise awareness of the underlying traditional myths and practices that potentially perpetuate stigma and discrimination against, and the persecution of persons with albinism,” the department said.

Meanwhile, people with albinism and organisations, will today convene at Gandhi Park in Verulam, KwaZulu-Natal for the continuation of the equality court case hearing between the albinism sector and Mzozo, which is taking place at the Verulam Magistrate Court.–