South Africa: Lesbian minister appointed to cabinet

South African president Jacob Zuma has appointed the country’s first openly gay cabinet minister. Zuma appointed Lynne Brown – who was previously the Premier of the Western Cape province –  as Minister of Public Enterprises, earning her a spot in the cabinet.

Gay political author Eusebius McKaiser told the Guardian: “It is, sadly, probably newsworthy, I guess, insofar as the social impact of openly gay people in high-profile public leadership positions cannot be discounted in a country like South Africa where levels of homophobia, including violence against black lesbian women, remain rife.