By Melanie Nathan, December 22, 2013.
Maleshwane Radebe died from a stab wound to her neck after she and her girlfriend were attacked and robbed in their East Rand township shack in Ratanda.
Charl Blignaut who blogged this at City Press has spent time with Inkanyiso, the visual activists documenting the ever-growing number of rapes and murders of lesbians in South Africa
“They’d been out with friends that night, the sixth of December. When she and her girlfriend did go out, they moved in a group, eight of them, four couples. She did everything she was told to stay safe. But it didn’t help,” says Charmain Carrol.
“They were vulnerable at the place they called home … When I saw the shack I asked myself, ‘Would I feel safe behind those doors?’ ” (Source)
At about 3.30am on December 7, Maleshwane Radebe’s girlfriend came running outside, screaming, according to neighbours.
“She’d been stabbed in the face, arm and leg but managed to escape.”
Two men had broken into the shack and attacked the couple, stealing their phones and Radebe’s wallet. Radebe died on the scene.
Unlike many similar cases of lesbians targeted for their sexuality and gender expression, in this instance one wonders, as it is suggested by Blignaut that “here was no sign that Radebe was raped or specifically attacked for her gender expression, but to the activists in the kitchen this is still a hate crime, targeting a vulnerable couple.”
It is clear the milieu and poverty and vulnerability that the target for the robbery could well have included the watchful eyes of haters. The couple wa snot safe and they paid the price.
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