By Melanie Nathan, July 01, 2013.
A lesbian woman has been brutally raped with a toilet brush and murdered in what is believed to have been a hate crime in Ekurhuleni over the weekend.
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”.