Tag Archives: lesbian murder

QAR Weekly News

  • Another South African Lesbian MurderThis morning (10/11/2012) I received a call from Ndumie Funda the founder and Director of Lulekisizwe a project that nurses, supports and feeds the lesbian bisexual and trans woman (LBT) in townships who are victims and survivors of “corrective rape”, whom I had just seen the day before and we were just talking about the current situation facing the LGBTI community in Cape Town especially in the townships. Funda sounded stressed and in shock over the phone when she asked me to get the word out about the murder of Sihle Skotshi (19) who was an active member of Lulekisizwe. Later I met up with Funda and  had an opportunity to interview the two survivors of the attack who were with Sihle when she died.tags: Queer Politics, LGBTI Africa, South Africa, Sexual Violence


  • Malawian Anti-Gay Laws under review, suspendedGoing against a trend in Africa, Malawi’s government is moving to suspend laws against homosexuality and has ordered police not to arrest people for same-sex acts until the anti-gay laws are reviewed by parliament.Human Rights Watch called the decision “courageous” and said it should inspire other countries that criminalize homosexuality.Justice Minister Ralph Kasambara last week told a public debate on minority rights that the police have been ordered not to arrest anyone suspected of engaging in homosexuality. Anyone convicted under Malawi’s anti-gay laws, some of the toughest in the world, can get up to 14 years in jail with hard labor. Kasambara said parliament will soon discuss the laws. 

Lesbian activist, Ncumisa Mzamelo found murdered

Three weeks after Ncumisa Mzamelo was found dead her story was published on page 16 of the South African newspaper, The Star. This is a story of a brutal murder of a Black lesbian from Bhambayi in KwaZula Natal, whose remains were found in a deserted toilet. Ncumisa was a 21 year old activist who worked on an HIV/AIDS project, Project Empower. A police case has been opened but her friends are determined that she not only gets justice but the crime is tried as a hate crime.

Ncumisa, murder needs to be seen in the context of the two recent decisions by human rights instittuions. First the African Commission for People and Human Rights which refused observer status to the Coalition of African Lesbians [CAL] and secondly the decision by the UN General Assembly Human Rights Committee who voted to delete specific reference to killings due to sexual orientation from a resolution condemning unjustified executions. The two decisions not only directly prevent justice for LGBTI people like Ncumisa but create an environment where such violent hate crimes can take place with impunity.

Eudy Simelane and the significance of the murder trial

Phumi Mtetwa of the Lesbian and Gay Equality Project, South Africa, reflects on the significance of the impending trial of the 4 men accused of murdering Eudy Simelane.


The Delmas Circuit Court in Mpumalanga will hear the trial into the murder of lesbian soccer player Eudy Simelane from 11 to 13 February 2009. Simelane, a 31 year old, was allegedly robbed, and gang raped and tortured before being murdered on 28 April last year in her home township, Kwa-Thema, east of Johannesburg. The alleged motivation for her killing was that she was a lesbian who fought back like men.

As it has been reported previously, the murder of Simelane follows many similar ones across South Africa. These crimes, motivated by the hatred of particularly lesbians and transgender people, was covered by the media but unfortunately without drawing national attention from the ruling ANC and other parties in the country, safe of the local branches in Kwa-Thema. South Africa has one of the highest rates of violence against women in the world and has suffered over the last few years more and more hate crimes resulting in the assault and/or killing of people because of their HIV status, sexual orientation, or because they are black non-South Africans.

The case of Simelane and the pending trial is of significance for various reasons. It indicates the ongoing destruction of black communities through crime in the name of tradition and male domination. Simelane comes from the second oldest township where gay sub-culture was visible and celebrated. In Kwa-Thema, from as long ago as the early 80s, visible “drag-queens” walked the streets proudly, earned respect from their assertion of their sexual identity and their visible strong ties of unity — the gay family.

Through the celebrated woman known as MaThoko to many black gays and lesbians from particularly the old Vaal area, a true community was born and MaThoko’s house was its home. Ordinary members of the Kwa-Thema community would have been perceived as ‘out-of-touch’ if they dared to speak against gays and lesbians. Whether you liked it or not, for whatever reason, Kwa-Thema was home to be proudly black and lesbian or gay without the fears that now exist because of the killings such as that of Simelane.
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