DURBAN – THE MEC for Social Development in KwaZulu-Natal is calling on residents to rally around the LGBTI+ community following the gruesome murder of a 22-year-old woman.
MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza said KwaMakhutha resident Anele Bhengu’s body was found dumped in the Durban south township.
She was raped and stabbed repeatedly. Her throat and abdomen was also slit.
“The brutal murder of this child is symptomatic of the challenges we have in the society. We are left in shock and fear by the killing of our children in this province,” she said.
Khoza said communities had a responsibility to end these violent crimes in the province.
“We need to get to the bottom of this as to why people have so much hatred towards the LGBTQIA+ community. We call on all citizens to work with the law enforcement agencies, government and different bodies to end such cruelty,” Khoza said.
She said although the government and different activities continue to fight the scourge of these murders, some communities continue to discriminate against some people based on their sexual orientation.
In April, Sphamandla Khoza was dumped in a ditch after his throat was slit and he was stabbed multiple times.
According to the Sunday Tribune, the 34-year-old’s death was suspected to be a homophobic hate crime by his family and the LGBTQI+ community. Khoza’s cousin, Ndumiso Ngidi, said the killing was allegedly perpetrated by men who knew, grew up with and lived in the same neighbourhood as Khoza.
Last year, 23-year-old Lindokuhle Cele was stabbed at a butchery in uMlazi. Cele was a well-known LGBTI activist and musician. The Mercury reported that the suspect, who has been arrested, “hated” Cele because he was gay.
In an interview with the Saturday Star, LGBTI organisation OUT said it was outraged by the crimes against the queer community.
“The greatest concern is for the safety and protection of LGBTI persons in South Africa. At this point, it feels as if the vulnerability that community members experience is amplified and that no one is safe,” OUT’s Roche Kester said.