PARIS (AFP) – France’s First Lady Valerie Trierweiler will meet a lesbian couple in South Africa on Monday, the first day of an official visit to the continental powerhouse by President Francois Hollande.
Despite having some of the world’s best legal protections for gay people, South Africa has seen numerous cases of homophobic violence, including deadly attacks on lesbians, who also risk falling victim to what is known as “corrective rape”.
Trierweiler will have lunch with activists from women’s and gay and lesbian rights groups in Johannesburg before meeting a lesbian couple, her entourage said.
She will be accompanied by Justice Minister Christiane Taubira.
Trierweiler will also visit a hospital housing children with psychological and mental problems and meet South African President Jacob Zuma’s wife.
On Tuesday, she will visit Sky, an orphanage in Johannesburg’s township of Soweto.
After that, Trierweiler will join Hollande for a visit to the former Soweto home of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, which has been transformed into a museum.