Zandile Mbabela and Luyolo Mkentane
AN Eastern Cape politician who came second at the Mr Gay World pageant on Easter Sunday has hit back at the African Christian Democratic Party’s criticism of the date for the event.
Buffalo City DA councillor Lance Weyer, the reigning Mr Gay South Africa, became the “first prince” at the event held in Johannesburg on Sunday, when Christians celebrated the resurrection of Jesus.
German national Andreas Derleth, who lives in New Zealand, beat 21 other contestants from across the world to take the title.
An excited Weyer tweeted on Sunday: “I won 1st runner up at Mr Gay World. Thanks for all your support! #MGW2012.”
That was later followed by: “Thanks to the ACDP for creating so much extra publicity for us!”
This was after the ACDP berated the event organisers, accusing them of deliberately trying to provoke Christians by staging the event on Easter Sunday.
The party said Christians were “deeply hurt” and the organisers would never have staged the event on Eid or any other holy day.
“I am not surprised by the ACDP’s statements as the party has a long- held anti-gay agenda,” Weyer said last night. “Last year, they blocked a parliamentary motion to congratulate South Africa’s Francois Nel on winning the 2011 Mr Gay World title in the Philippines.
“They also opposed the passing of the Civil Union Bill that legalised same-sex marriage in 2006.”
Garnering support on social networking site Twitter – where users criticised the ACDP’s views – Weyer said it was an honour being the runner-up for the world title.
“We were not expecting to win as SA has already won two years in a row. We are very happy with coming second,” he said.
Weyer said the pageant was staged at the weekend for logistical reasons and was not meant to provoke, as the ACDP had claimed.
He said that even internationally recognised HIV/Aids activist Zackie Achmat was against the party’s thinking and had described the ACDP’s comments as a disgrace and noted the significance of Easter Sunday to many.
Achmat had tweeted: “ACDP disgrace but Sunday is a day of meaning for many.”
Weyer, who serves on the Buffalo City council’s public accounts committee, said it was great to have been part of the world pageant.
About R37000 was raised for the competition’s official charity, Nkosi’s Haven, which helps women and children living with HIV/Aids.