2013 March 28: Failed justice

by Lerato Dumse

A commemoration was held on Wednesday 27 March 2013 in Thokoza township, east of Johannesburg to remember the life of Nokuthula Radebe.
In 2011 March 28 Nokuthula became one of many hate crime victims reported that year only, followed by Noxolo Nogwaza (24) who was murdered in Tsakane, April 2011.
Its been two years since the young lesbian woman from Thokoza in Ekurhuleni was brutally killed, and there is still no progress in bringing the perpetrators to book.

The 28th of March 2011 was a tragic day for the Radebe family. Their 20 year old daughter’s body was found by children playing in an abandoned building in her township. The last time Nokuthula was seen alive was after walking her girlfriend home late at night and leaving her safe. Nokuthula walked back to her home but never reached her destination. Like most lesbian murders in the township, her death was horrific and will never be forgotten. When her mute tortured body was discovered, she had been strangled with her shoelaces, her face covered with a plastic bag and her pants pulled down.

In hosting the event Forum for Empowerment of Women (FEW) in collaboration with IHAWU said their initial plan for this year’s commemoration was to draw up a petition to be signed by the community.  Requesting the demolition of the abandoned building as Nokuthula’s murder is not the only crime committed there. However that could not be achieved due to the Police’s unwillingness to assist. The small group who attended the event comprised mostly of lesbian women from the respective organizations. Also present were Radebe family, a local Pastor, member of the street committee as well as other locals. All had one voice in expressing their dissatisfaction with the Police conduct towards the case of Nokuthula.

FEW accused the investigating officer (*identity reserved for safety sake) of “not prioritizing the case even when information was given to him to follow up on”.
Project Organizer Dikeledi Sibanda says the last time they went to the Police station to inquire about progress on the case, the officer in charge saw them got in his car and drove away. Mr Radebe believes he will never be able to heal from loosing his daughter, speaking at the commemoration he said “I feel anger, frustration and disappointment with the police on my daughter’s murder, how the justice system has failed me as a parent who is still mourning the loss of my child that I loved”.

Previous articles by Lerato

2013 March 28: Feather Awards (re)viewed


2011 May 13:  Kwa-Thema Praying for homophobic victims.


2011 May 3:  Black Easters for black lesbian community


This entry was posted in Abantu, Activism, Archived memories, Black Lesbians & Allies Against Hate Crimes, Creating awareness, Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW), Rape and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to 2013 March 28: Failed justice

  1. leonie Spalding says:

    It is just another example of the uphill battle us lesbians face I myself am a survivor of hate crime I reported the case but nothing was done . How do we trust SAPS when we receive secondary victimization a nation wide protest should be held on the same day and time its time for us to mobilize and be heard its the only way to be taken seriously

  2. It’s embarrassing that this happens in this day and age. How does one justify killing another human being? How do you sleep at night knowing that the blood of another, one who bleeds just as u do, bleeds the same red that seeps out of you, the same way you hurt they hurt too, how do you sleep knowing that they are no more because of you? Evil people live in this world. Its a shame. Another life lost; totally unnecessarily. My condolences to the Nogwaza family. And to all other families who’s lives will never be the same.

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  6. Montrealmen says:

    I am a Canadian Man who just say in my Canadian TV a program describing your conditions in south Africa. I was sad to see that but time will come for you to be free too. 40 years ago, it was still dangerous to be gay here and in 30-35years everything change dramaticly. Keep on fighting and stay tall. My best wishes for you tonight girls or guys…

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