Eddie Izzard South Africa Transgender Speech

Jade du Preez


THE comedian and actor Eddie Izzard is running his 23rd marathon on Robben Island today as part of his epic challenge of 27 marathons in 27 days in South Africa, tracing the life of Nelson Mandela.

Mandela spent 18 years of his 27 year sentence for conspiracy to overthrow the state on Robben Island.

He started in Mandela’s home town, and will end at the Union Building in Pretoria where the former South African president gave his inaugural speech in 1994.

In between he will run to Mandela’s school and university, then to Cape Town, covering more than 700 miles.

Izzard managed to take some time out to get his nails done at a South African nail salon, in his iconic red colour.

He also released a video about being transgender and coming out 31 years ago, mentioning how Uganda is trying to sentence people to death for being gay or transgender.

This issue has been brought to the forefront in Scotland with the arrival of the Ghana president in Edinburgh causing human rights groups to question his countries gay rights policy.

They have urged MSPs to address the issue with His Excellency John Dramani Mahama while they can, but a meet-and-greet session had to be cancelled.

Gay people in Ghana face up to three years in jail if convicted.

Izzard urged people to be more like Mandela, and to make more positive change in the world.




South African Policemen Convicted of Murder

Credit to Bob Adams (Flickr)

Credit to Bob Adams (Flickr)

A judge in Pretoria has sentenced eight police officers to 15 years in prison for the murder of taxi driver Mido Macia.

The Mozambican taxi driver was killed in February 2013, after being tied to the back of a police van by his arms before being driven around the streets of East Johannesburg. Police originally pulled over Mr Macia after he was said to have parked his vehicle illegally, and after a brief struggle they then proceeded to tie him to their van. He was found in a pool of his own blood in a cell.

The men sentenced were aged between 25 and 56, and their lawyer has said that they will appeal against the murder conviction. When sentencing the men, Judge Bert Bam is said to have labelled the killings “barbaric”, however he recognized that the killings were not intentional.

Police brutality continues to be a problem throughout South Africa, with this incident following the Marikana killings of 2012, which saw police shoot dead 34 miners.

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