Jul 022013
 

In the name of Nelson Mandela stop the raping and  bloody deaths of Lesbians in South Africa.  Mendela fought for freedom for all South Africans –Here is a report from Momba Online: 

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Duduzile Zozo, sister lesbian
rest in peace – justice will prevail

The half-naked body of 26-year-old Duduzile Zozo was found in Thokoza, Ekurhuleni, outside of Johannesburg, on Sunday morning, in what is another case of the brutal hate crime , “corrective rape” and murder.

Zozo’s grieving mother, Thuziwe Zozo, told the Daily Sun that she suspects that her daughter was murdered because of her sexuality.

“She was a lesbian but she has never had any problems before. People loved and appreciated her,” she said.

Mamba Online reports that in one of her final posts on Facebook on Friday, the young woman wrote:

“In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, relationship we are afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make…”

Captain Godfrey Maditsi urged the community “to come forward with any information that could help put those responsible behind bars” and noted that she may have attended a tavern the night before her body was found.

An emotional Thulisle Msiza, Director of Ekurhuleni LGBTI, told Mambaonline that she was shocked and saddened by news of the latest attack.

“It seems that as lesbians we cannot go anywhere. We cannot be ourselves. We have to hide ourselves, otherwise we get killed. We have to stay indoors – like caged animals,” she said. “It’s like we are living in the apartheid era again and homosexuals are the ones that are being oppressed.”

The Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality has been the location of a number of brutal attacks on lesbian women.

In April, the body of the openly lesbian Patricia Mashigo (36), a self-employed sales woman and mother of two children, was discovered out in the open in the Daveyton township.She appeared to have been stoned to death. Rocks and stones were found near her body.

Days later, activists gathered in nearby KwaThema to mark the second anniversary of the murder of 24-year-old Noxolo Nogwaza, a particularly brutal hate crime that remains unsolved. Nogwaza too was stoned to death.

Last week, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DOJ&CD) issued a statement about the status of the National Task Team which is aimed at “promoting and enhancing the rights of LGBTI communities” with the immediate priority “to address violence against LGBTI people”. I personally participated in South Africa in the formation  of the Task Team and am happy to learn that it will be resumed and reinvigorated after much time has gone by with very little done to curb these crimes, educate the populace against homophobia and help survivors.

The DOJ&CD said that an action plan has now been formulated “to address violence against LGBTI people as well as the monitoring of pending and unresolved criminal cases involving LGBTI victims”.

BLOGGED SOMETIME AGO ON MY SITE – This murder happened in 2008.   It is the “Killing Fields” of South Africa.

images-16Eudy Simelane was an acclaimed star in South Africa’s Banyana Banya national soccer team.  Her partially clothed body revealed that she had been gang-raped, brutally beaten and stabbed twenty-five times.  This happened in April, 2008, but the criminal system took years to lead to its first conviction of what lesbians are calling a hate crime.

Eudy was not only one of South Africa’s best known soccer players was also a voracious equal rights campaigner and lived openly as a lesbian in Kwa Thema, a township near Johannesburg.

Her brutal murder took place in 2008, and since then a tide of violence against lesbians in South Africa has continued to rise. Human rights advocates say it is characterized by what they call “corrective rape” committed by men behind the guise of trying to “cure” lesbians of their sexual orientation.  This is not an isolated incident. The South African Human Rights Commission is challenging the legal system to treat it as a hate crime and provide a separate crime category to investigate the extent of ‘corrective rapes.’

When asked about the increasing rape of both straight and lesbian women,Carrie Shelver, of women’s rights group Powa, a South African NGO said.

“So you have to look at the increasingly macho culture, which seeks to oppress women and sees them as merely sexual beings. So when there is a lesbian woman she is an absolute affront to this kind of masculinity.”

Police are not doing their job as in the case of another brutal double rape and murder of lesbian couple Sizakele Sigasa and Salome Massooa in July 2007 attacks. Sigasa and Massooa were tortured, gang raped and shot near their homes in Meadowland, Soweto in July 2007, shortly after being verbally abused outside a bar.

Despite more than 30 reported murders of lesbians in the last decade, Simelane’s trial has produced the first conviction, when one man who pleaded guilty to her rape and murder was jailed last month.

On sentencing, the judge said that Simelane’s sexual orientation had “no significance” in her killing.

We should not let her death fall through the  cracks.  Voice your anger to the South African Criminal Justice System or to South African Tourism.  The latter is where the tourist dollars pour in – “Can I as a gay person feel safe visiting your country?”

 

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