Oscar ousted from pro-gay campaign

19 February 2013 - 02:14 By ANDILE NDLOVU

Organisers of the "It Gets Better, South Africa" campaign against homophobic bullying, due to be launched tomorrow, severed Oscar Pistorius's connection with it yesterday.

The campaign, which is to be launched at the Cape Town Holocaust Centre at 7pm, has the support of numerous celebrities, including models Shashi Naidoo and Kerry McGregor, Mr Gay World 2011 Francois Nel, television presenters Sade Giliberti and Jo-Ann Strauss, and struggle hero Ahmed Kathrada.

It is headed by Andrew Barry, a postgraduate education student at the University of Cape Town. The campaign was started by US author Dan Savage almost three years ago and has been backed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, US President Barack Obama, actress Anne Hathaway and pop star Lady Gaga, all of whom have featured in videos designed to encourage gay youths to resist discrimination.

In his video, which will no longer be included in the campaign, Pistorius said: "Just remember that you're special. You don't have to worry. You don't have to change. Take a deep breath and remember 'It will get better'."

Richard Freedman, the director of the SA Holocaust and Genocide Foundation, said the public was invited to film their own anti-homophobia videos at the Cape Town Holocaust Centre on March 14 and 17.

Athletics Gauteng North general manager Walter Vilakazi said there had been no objections to Pistorius being awarded the track and field male athlete of the year title on Saturday night. H e said the period taken into account was January to December 2012.

"We have a [committee] that recommends athletes who have excelled," he said. "This all happened before the unfortunate situation. If we do withdraw the award, what reasons do we use?"