Zizipho Pae speaks to Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA) about her recent expulsion from the University of Cape Town (UCT) Student Representative Council (SRC).

On 28 June 2015, Zizipho posted the following comment on her personal Facebook wall: “We are institutionalizing and normalizing sin! May God have mercy on us.” (This was a comment on the recent decision by the US Supreme Court, legalizing same-sex marriage across all 50 states).

As a result of her post, Zizipho was suspended from the SRC’s Vacation Committee without proper process or reasons. She received ‘hate mail’ on Facebook, suffered various instances of intimidation, harassment and threats, had her office vandalized, and also had members of the LGBTQIA+ community take lewd pictures in her office which they then posted on social media and tagged her in on. Requests were even made to her bursary holder to withdraw her bursary!

Eventually, Zizipho was expelled from the SRC following an irregular meeting of the UCT SRC on Tuesday, 21 July 2015. Zizipho accordingly appealed to the UCT Vice-Chancellor to review and set aside the irregular decision to expel her from the UCT SRC.

*NOTE that this interview with Zizipho was recorded prior to her receiving the outcome of the review. We are happy to report that on 2 August 2015, Zizipho received a letter from the UCT Vice-Chancellor advising that her expulsion from the SRC had been found “invalid”. In terms of the letter, Zizipho must be allowed to serve out her term as a member of the SRC.

FOR SA is the official spokesperson of Zizipho Pae with regard to this matter.